(written May 4th, 2016, also featured in Uncover)
If you know and love bands such as The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, or Circa Waves, this group of English cuties is a band for you to check out. Catfish & The Bottlemen, an indie rock band hailing from North Wales, formed in 2007 and has been climbing the charts ever since. Their album such as "The Balcony" hit number 10 on the UK Album charts, and number 9 on the US Alternative charts. Their new album "The Ride" is set to release May 27th.
For those who don't know, the band consists of Ryan Evan "Van" McCann (lead, guitar), Johnny "Bondy" Bond (guitar), Benjamin "Benji" Blakeway (bass), and Robert "Bob" Hall (drums). Around about 7pm, Van and Bondy hit the stage for a small acoustic show, exclusively for those who preordered their new album, which you can preorder here:
It was held in a music store known as Fingerprints, in Downtown Long Beach, where bands such as The 1975, Cage the Elephant, and Grizfolk have preformed as well. It was my first time here, and I fully recommend checking this record store out. Not only do they often have acoustic shows, their selection of music is one of the most diverse selections I've seen in a store. Packed into the back of the record store, fans from all over cheered and screamed as Van and Bondy walked on stage. They smiled and waved back at the enthusiastic fans, and sat down with their acoustic guitars to start the show. Once the first few chords of their song "Cocoon" started playing, the crowd immediately started singing along, swaying to the beat of the song. The entire performance was completely intimate, and it was nice to hear what is usually heavy guitar riffs of their indie rock music turn into the beautiful sounds of a guitar and a voice. Through most of his time singing on stage, Van had his eyes closed, lost in his own music. Every once and awhile he'd pop open his eyes and scan the crowd, pausing to sing to the fans in the audience who were singing right along with him. Every little smile or high note hit was enough to make the audience swoon and break out into small cheers.
After ending with their hit song "7", Van and Bondy left the stage to join the rest of the band in the front of the store to start the meet and greet. The once organized crowd suddenly turned into a giant mass of people gravitating towards the front of the store. By the time I got to the front, I have had waited almost 2 hours.
The entire night was exciting, and it was fun to see Catfish preform in such a laid back atmosphere. If you ever have a chance to see an acoustic show, I highly recommend taking the opportunity. If you love yourself some indie rock, and enjoy overly enthusiastic crowds, make sure to snag some tickets to one of Catfish's live shows.
Check out Catfish and the Bottlemen's setlist of the night below!