Alligator inflatables and vivid-coloured flares beamed across the grass verges of Sheffield’s Don Valley Bowl and ‘honey, that’s alright’.
The Welsh band took to the stage to their usual Dean Martin’s ‘Ain’t That a Kick in the Head’ which then goes into the intro of the raucous song ‘Helter Skelter’, by The Beatles, playing by tape in the background.
Beforehand, support came from Broken Hands and Little Comets – both of which got the Catfish fans prepared for a night of lots of singing and circle pits.
They kick started their, last of the short UK tour, set with a short song named ‘Homesick’. This has a fluctuating, angsty outburst which appears from nowhere with its tip-toe opening and the crowd went wild for it.
“Sheffield are yis good?” asked lead vocalist, Van McCann, as the crowd followed with an almighty cheer – mainly from several teenage girls.
The band tended to lean heavily on their hits from the debut album ‘The Balcony’ including playing tracks such as ‘Kathleen’, ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Twice’ and ‘7’ from their second album ‘The Ride’. The setlist seemed rather predictable, missing out some of their well-loved tracks, ‘Oxygen’, ‘Rango’ and ‘Glasgow’; nevertheless, the band still created a spectacular show.
24-year-old, Van McCann, born as a last-resort IVF treatment belted out his lyric “I was a test-tube baby” in the gruff, dark-indie song ‘Fallout’, and the crowd responded with the following lyric whilst jumping around in circle pits.
Catfish and the Bottlemen create the sense of new dog, old tricks but despite this they still leave the crowd wanting more of their catchy riffs.
Drawing to a close, the band played one of their more subtler songs, ‘7’, from their latest album ‘The Ride’. This has a stripped back sound, with more rhythmic guitar chords compared to some of their other songs.
The penultimate track, ‘Cocoon’, created their simple, yet vintage-like, rock sound with youthful lyrics. However, it always sounds as if it needs something to spice it up a little and to make it stand out more.
‘Tyrants’ was actually the first ever song Van McCann wrote at the young age of 14. The thrashing guitars and torrential drums burst out, contrasting with the soft and gentle riff which peaks through from time to time, creating an incredible ending to their set.
Catfish and the Bottlemen’s setlist: