Doors open: 20:00
Catfish and the Bottlemen are a band from Llandudno, North Wales who have brought unruly behavior and sharp edge back to rock music, but have contrastingly balanced it with vulnerable sensitivity. Their sound explodes with distortion, screeching solo tirades, and scratchy vocals, while simultaneously introducing reflective lyrics and sonic ambience.
Catfish and the Bottlemen formed in Wales in 2008 and are currently made up of Ryan McCann, Johnny Bond, Benji Blakeway, and Bob Hall. McCann is originally from Australia, but moved to Wales at a young age. The 1st configuration of the band featured McCann as lead vocalist, McCann’s best friend Benji Blakeway as the bassist, and Blakeway’s brother Bill Bibby as lead guitarist. Bob Hall joined the group as the drummer in 2010 and in 2014 Johnny “Bondy” Bond replaced Bibby as lead guitarist.
Early recordings form the group showed a strong influence from early American pop legends like Elvis Presley and cheeky brit-pop rockstars like Oasis. Perhaps the biggest inspiration for Catfish and the Bottlemen were the Beatles, especially as the group frequently threw in cover songs of the “fab four” into their setlist.
The band continued to refine their writing techniques and before long were trying out their material in front of an audience, albeit most of their early shows took place in car parks. After one of their shows McCann ran into Kasabian lead singer, Sergio Pizzorno and to no avail tried handing him a demo. These early recordings of the band are now highly sought after and are worth small fortunes on the internet. Their early singles were independently released in 2012 and are exemplary of the groups raw youthful sound.
Their next single “Homesick” was issued in 2013 by Communion Records and was followed up by the single “Rango”, which was also released that year. The singles continued to pour out of the band in 2014. The four they released that year are as follows: “Kathleen”, “Pacifier”, “Cocoon”, and “Fallout”. In addition to these singles the band also put out the EP “Kathleen And The Other Three” as well as their studio debut album “The Balcony”. Their 1st album was a hit in the UK making it to no. 10 on the album charts. It also did fairly well in the US debuting at no.121 on the US Billboard 200 and no. 8 on the US Independent Albums chart. This album featured “Kathleen”, a single which was produced by Jim Abbiss (Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian) and likewise rose to no.1 on the MTV’s hottest tracks.
Apart form their studio work, Catfish and the Bottlemen are equally loved for their live performances. In 2014 the band went on an extensive tour to support “The Balcony”, playing at over 30 festivals in the UK, Europe, and United States, including Readin & Leeds, Governors Ball, and Latitude.