Like The Walkmen’s ‘The Rat’ realised as a full band NME
Frontman Van McCann breathes convincing vulnerability into his performance The Sun
Anything but anonymity beckons Q Magazine
Armed with a repertoire of hectic, but undeniably catchy tunes, the band channel indie rock’s brightest moments of the last 20 years Esquire Magazine
Catfish And The Bottlemen have announced a new run of live dates for early 2014- six small shows in late February including London Borderline on February 24. The dates come off the back of an incredibly promising year for the ATC-managed four piece, who rounded off 2013 with a Radio 1 In New Music We Trust playlist for latest single ‘Pacifier’ (out now), plus a spot on Zane Lowe’s 100 Hottest Tracks of the year for previous release, the NME and Q-approved ‘Rango’.
With album preparation in full swing, the February shows are a relatively short stint for Catfish, whose vigorous approach to touring saw them play over twenty shows in October of this year alone. This followed a characteristically frenetic summer, which saw the 4 English boys from Llandudno perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival (alongside the likes of Denai Moore, Thumpers and JAWS) amidst their UK tour itinerary, which also took in sold-out London shows at The Barfly and Sebright Arms.
Frontman Van McCann’s own story begins far removed from the small-town ennui which originally drove Catfish to leave Llandudo, North Wales. Born as a test tube baby to free-minded Liverpudlian parents, Van spent his early years travelling around Australia by car, and still struggles to recall his birthplace - “Where was I born? Cheshire? Cheshire”. Once back in the less expansive environs of Llandudno, McCann came into the orbit of future bandmates Billy Bibby (guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass) and Bob Hall (drums) at school, from where he was soon expelled due to prolonged absences. Although still based in Llandudno now, the band’s ad hoc domestic arrangements reflect the sporadic time spent there between touring- the 4 piece have a rehearsal space in a B&B run by a couple who became fans of the band, and invited them to live there rent-free as long as they continued to make music. The band now drift nomadically in and out of vacant rooms when back in town.
Catfish And The Bottlemen signed to Communion Records (Deap Vally, Half Moon Run) this Spring, recording their debut material in Wales’ legendary Rockfield Studios with Communion founder Ian Grimble. The signing followed a furious 18 month period which saw them play over 150 live shows to hone their live set, which invariably sees frontman Van McCann climbing the walls and playing guitar as though his life depended on it, whilst fans crowd surf and sing every word.
23 February LIVERPOOL East Village Arts Club
24 February LONDON Borderline
25 February BRISTOL Louisiana
27 February NOTTINGHAM Rock City Basement
28 February GLASGOW Broadcast
1 March MANCHESTER Ruby Lounge
Catfish And The Bottlemen are Van McCann (vocals & guitar), Billy Bibby (lead guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass) and Bob Hall (drums).