There aren’t many better ways to spend a Sunday evening than a night at the Bournemouth International Centre with thousands of boozy fans jumping to every chord of music at the sold out Catfish and the Bottlemen gig
The four-piece band have only been popular for a mere three years after signing to Communion Records in 2013, but in a very short space of time the success of Catfish has continued to rise. Having won ‘Best British Breakthrough Act’ at this year’s Brit Awards Catfish have grown their success with tours all over the UK, Europe, North America and Australia and have performed at a number of festivals including Glastonbury (which I was lucky enough to see them at this summer) and at the Reading and Leeds festival. Selling out their Bournemouth gig in minutes, I knew I was in for a night of passionate fans, a lot of body heat and would definitely need a refill of my pint after the gig.
The night started off with Canadian band July Talk, a five-piece rock band consisting of singers Pete Dreimanis and Leah Fay. With Leah wearing no shoes and gangly dance moves, the band certainly attempted to get the crowd going with Leah even jumping on guitarists Ian Doherty’s back whilst he performed his guitar solo. Whilst July Talk couldn’t really get the crowd going it didn’t really matter to the fans as they were there to see one band and one band only.
The lights then dimmed and you could hear the crowd going crazy, with everyone cramped into the Windsor Hall, shoulder to shoulder in the BIC ready for what would be an epic set from Catfish. A simple stage background including their famous crocodile image from the 2016 album The Ride (which was the UK no 1 album in June 2016) illuminated the stage and the lights began to flash. Van McCann simply began with the first lyrics to ‘Homesick’ and had the crowd instantly at the palm of his hand. With everyone’s voices echoing around the room, you could even see those who were seated had to get up and bounce as high as they could, with people leaning over the balcony to really get involved.
The crowd was then greeted by Van McCann introducing the night saying ‘’Hello Bournemouth we all good, we just wanted to thank July Talk and this is for anyone who bought the new album’’. Later on in the night the crowd were also thanked for selling out the BIC with McCann continuing ‘’For anybody who sold this place out for us as quick as you did, thank you very much’’. You get the obvious feeling that Catfish are extremely grateful for all their fans and for those who travelled far to see them put on an unbelievable set.
This was then followed by another fan favourite Kathleen although it was a struggle trying to hear McCann because the crowd were enjoying every minute of the song. You could really feel the atmosphere of the room, even if drinks were flying through the air. The show continued with various other hits including Soundcheck, Anything, Oxygen and Postpone. There was also a huge mixture of tracks from Catfish’s first album The Balcony released in 2014 such as Fallout, Business and Pacifier which really got the crowd bouncing.
Catfish also performed some more chilled out tracks including Outside but this didn’t stop the crowd from singing along and moshing out as much as they could. You could see beer being thrown in the air along with coats and there was the distinct smell of a cup of wee at some point…I felt sorry for the poor guy who that landed on! But it was an epic show and the night was filled with people who were genuinely happy to be there and were there to enjoy the music. At one point you could hear the crowd chanting ‘’We love you Catfish we do’’ and the clapping roared around the room, safe to say they are a band who are growing and growing.
The gig then finished off with tracks including 7, Cocoon and finally to top of the night they ended with the highly anticipated Tyrants. A truly brilliant set that left the crowd chanting ‘’We want more.’’