Festival Report: Catfish and The Bottlemen // All Points East, London

As the indie giants takes to stage at All Points East its feat and a cliché, all wrapped in cascades of guitar magic.

Kicking off with ‘Homesick’ it’s immediately clear that Catfish ain’t here to mess around. As they blast out banger after banger it’s with the precision of a band that knows exactly what they are doing, and are still loving it. Steadily fronted by Van McCann, the Bottlemen unfold the eternal struggles of love, lads and nightcaps. Mapping out the terrain of their devious adventures and subsequent heartache, the group connect the dots through their catalogue with well-mastered crowd proposals. 

With the lyrics beaming through the night they sit on everyone’s lips, and the expressive vocals of McCann give them just that extra little level of stoic punctuation.

Hailing from Wales the boys have a rural touch to their music metropolises. Vigorous emphasising guitar and percussion, the recipe is laid out frank and clear right off the bat. Sticking to what they know best, it’s definitely the best of the Bottlemen that we get.

No matter the scale, it’s a brave bulletin standing on the top of that lineup and frankly, Catfish and the Bottlemen handle their headline slot with excellence. Yes, the indie band clichés are very much in place. But what are you to do, you can’t argue that it works immaculately.

The skinny jeans daydreams have the fangirls swooning, as bombastic guitar and slapping bass leads the way into ‘Twice’’s deeper and darker moments. Breaking loose from the pure tension of the savvy verse, the cascading chorus captures all that’s right about Catfish and The Bottlemen.

Finishing off in the most prolific way, Catfish unbox searing indie anthem ‘Tyrants’. The ominous guitarwork takes us through a layered journey as McCann and co round off the massive set. Though their indie credentials may come with a little rough edges and sleazy moves, Catfish still knows how to put on one hell of a show.

Words by Aurora Henni Krogh

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Aurora Henni Krogh

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