This group have been on an impressive trajectory since the beginning of 2014. They were supporting Little Comets at the cramped Cabaret Voltaire only in February, then they headlined an even more confined Sneaky Pete’s in May.
The prominence of summer festivals has catapulted them to into a position where they can boast of playing and selling out Barrowlands within months of releasing their debut album. And you can sort of see how they have arrived at this notoriety.
While the lyrics are forthright, focusing on all things adolescent (relationships, drinking etc.), the music is filled with youthful energy that makes the crowd simply erupt in a live setting, so much so that the band have to take occasional breaks just to keep them under control. The riotous teenagers got almost too much for the security who were constantly in and out trying to defuse the crowd’s understandable and excitable behaviour.
The appearance of the band and the music may be reminiscent of the mid-2000’s Indie explosion, but the buoyancy in their live performance is beyond staggering. ‘Kathleen’ had the crowd in motion, to the point where the deemed unacceptable sitting-on-shoulders and crowd-surfing becomes simply too much for security, who have to eject sweaty teenagers from the audience one-by-one – even if frontman, Van McCann, appeared to endorse their rip-roaring crowd behaviour.
The whole Catfish and the Bottlemen scene may have echoes of the days of when Arctic Monkeys were a massive deal back in 2006, and they probably won’t last as long with their petulant lyrics, but it’s wonderful to witness a band enjoy themselves while still struggling to fathom out how substantial their status is becoming with their catchy hooks and memorable arm-raising moments.