Catfish and the Bottlemen – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham 19/2/2019

In anticipation for their third studio album due to be released April this year, Catfish and the Bottlemen didn’t disappoint in exciting their fans on the first night of their UK tour. They had roped in Twin Atlantic to support, which despite their previous success, the predominantly young crowd of Catfish fans seemed rather uninterested. Even when playing hit singles Make a Beast of Myself and Free the response was unenthusiastic. The sound on their set seemed off with lead singer Sam McTrusty’s amazing Scottish tones sounding muffled under heavy drums at the start. They managed to pick it up slightly on No Sleep, getting the crowd more amped and then rounding off with Heart and Soul.

When Catfish and the Bottlemen came out the atmosphere of the crowd became much more intense. Starting with their first single off the upcoming album Longshot, it was a very strong opening with most of the crowd chanting back every word just a month after its release. It was clear to see their new material has had a very welcoming reception among fans, even teasing by debuting new songs Fluctuate and Sidetrack had the crowd buzzing. As the chanting continued, the band were thriving off the energy given to them. It was obvious that they had missed playing live, even singer Van McCann saying it was “the best feeling” during their performance of 7.

Admittedly, some of the added instrumentals were a bit excessive. The guitar solo in Anything ended up a tad screechy and Business seemed to go on for a long while, although the bass interlude was a nice touch. Van also topped off it with vocals loops that seemed to come out like a squawk (perhaps linking to the parrots in the set design and new album artwork?) It seemed to lose the crowds attention almost as much as the several lengthy blackouts between songs during the set.

Van’s vocals were delivered best through the more acoustic hits, with Hourglass and Heathrow managing to tame the crowd for a few minutes. Back the end of the show it was evident that the boys were back with new energy and a new album, and when finishing with favourites Cocoon and Tyrants, it was obvious they were raring to go.