Gig review: Catfish at the Bottlemen at Leeds University Stylus

Catfish & The Bottlemen at Leeds University Stylus. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
Catfish & The Bottlemen at Leeds University Stylus. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
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Catfish & the Bottlemen do not play music. They play raw, unadulterated, sweaty, loud rock music. Fact!

As Sunday nights in Leeds go this is about as usual as a Sunday night is going to be. A few gigs here and there, bit of movement around town, nowt too brash but a trickle of stuff happening.

However down at Leeds Uni Stylus it’s absolutely packed to the rafters. Even before you walk in you can feel the heat being generated by 1,000 people, neatly packed in and full to capacity. I can give you the old sardines in a can scenario but this is a little more than just that. This is a room brimming with excitement, brimming with with the potential that’s about to be fired from the stage.

Catfish & the Bottlemen is a name that’s been teetering on the lips of a lot of people as of late. Great exposure right across the music scene has helped them explode in tyrannic proportions in recent months. The leather jacketed Welsh rockers are reminiscent of the good old days of rock ’n’ roll, big sound, heavy riffs and a devoted following.

First up on stage is Southern. Brother and sister Thom and Lucy Southern enthrall a happy crowd with a neat blues-kissed rock ’n’ roll sound and a great appetiser to the headline act.

Five minutes late Catfish are on stage and bang, it’s straight into a plethora of big smashed riffs and a tide of crowd surfers pouring over the barriers. It’s a fun gig, how do I know this? because I’m drenched in beer after about 15 minutes into the set.

This is what music should be about – enjoyment and happiness and mates and beer and being pushed a bit and sweat and noise.

Van McCann’s vocals are no Kelly Jones but the pure rawness of their sound is just excellent. There are no real catchy tunes or memorable chorus’s but it’s just the entire package that collectively bundles you up and pats you on the behind while you’re pushed off stage and surfing the crowd!

Gig date: November 9

Jonathan Wilson

Gig review: Jonathan Wilson at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds