There’s just something about Van McCann. Headlining their first ever festival at Liverpool Sound City on Saturday May 28, Catfish and the Bottlemen arrived on stage, as has become customary, to the roar of The Beatles’ ‘Helter Skelter’.
Just a day after the release of their second album ‘Ride‘, the band were on a high. First performing at Sound City as an unsigned act in 2011, Catfish have come a long way in five years, quietly building up a fan base who have adopted their songs as the anthems of their youth.
Rattling through hit after hit, there wasn’t a single lull in the band’s ninety-minute set. On stage is where Catfish thrive. On plenty of occasions Van stepped back from the mic, in typical frontman-by-numbers style and watched as the crowd, word perfect, sang an entire verse without any assistance.
The band’s new tracks were being belted out with as much passion by their adoring fans as anything from ‘The Balcony’, which considering that ‘Ride’ is yet to drop on Spotify, is no mean feat.
Sure, Catfish might not be breaking musical boundaries. But there’s a time in your life when all you want to do is jump up and down and hug your mates and yell the words to songs that you know – songs about having sex and getting drunk and breaking hearts for the very first time. Van and his band of Bottlemen are one of, if not the only, indie band around at the moment to get that kind of reaction from a live audience and all hail them for it. They proved last night that with just two albums, they are deserving of that headline slot.
Catfish and the Bottlemen played:
Watch an acoustic version of ‘Cocoon’ below, shot for NME
We’re now on Snapchat! For live festival updates throughout the summer, follow NME @NME_Snap. Liverpool Sound City runs from May 28-29 2016.