This week, I’ve taken on the role of Kettler groupie for our Band of the Week feature. I’ve chosen a four-piece who have taken the festival scene by storm in the past 12 months. Winners of the first official BBC Music Awards BBC Introducing Award and unofficial winners of the coolest band name of the past 10 years (by me), I’m talking about the fabulous Catfish and the Bottlemen.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
The Llandudno lads formed in 2010, with Ryan ‘Van’ McCann on vocals and rhythm guitar, Johnny “Bondy” Bibby on lead guitar, Benji Blakeway on bass and Bob Hall on drums. Their music style is very much indie-rock with catchy riffs and foot-tapping drum beats. Australian born Van has a very gritty, soulful northern tone to his voice. If I had to describe it in three words, I’d say: Mancunian Julian Casablancas. Make of that what you will.
Their debut album, The Balcony, resonates this feeling of teenage angst, particularly with relationships – sexual frustration, drunken arguments and first loves. The album cover is unusual, showing a cartoon of a couple with their hands in each other’s trousers, but it resonates the awkward adolescent period of young relationships. After hearing a few of their songs on the radio, I bought the album and it’s now on repeat at least four times a day. This band has really made me reconnect with rock/indie music in a time where I had forgotten the importance of music and the way you can completely relate to a sound or a lyric.
To first time listeners, I’d definitely recommend the amazing ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Homesick’. ‘Cocoon’ describes that feeling of being dependent on just one person, so much so that you disregard what others have to say about your relationship. McCann sings of very personal struggles, from being away from home to arguing with his girlfriend.
‘Homesick’ was written by McCann about his girlfriend. As they lived separate lives with him on tour and her at home, they would argue over her walking home alone or him staying out on the road. I think as someone in their early twenties it’s easy to relate to these subjects, as it’s a real point in your life where you start finding your feet and following your own path, meaning others you are close to may choose a different path or disagree with your choices.
In fact, I recommend all their songs. Why are you still reading this?! Go and listen to The Balcony now!
I’m still waiting for the chance to see the four lads live, but from reviews I’ve read Catfish and the Bottlemen are a definite watch at this year’s UK festivals. You can catch them this Summer at: Glastonbury, T in the Park, Latitude, and Reading/Leeds.
Are you a fan of Catfish and the Bottlemen? Let us know in the comments below!