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Catfish and the Bottlemen / November and December 2014 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 18th July 2014 at 3:00 pm
 

Catfish and the Bottlemen have just announced a list of UK tour dates for later this year in support of their debut album ‘The Balcony’, due for release on the 15th of September on Island/Communion Records. Mary featured the video for ‘Kathleen’ here back in March. You can check their latest single ‘Fallout’ below the tour date listing.

Tickets for the following shows are on sale now.

Wednesday 5th November 2014 – Cardiff Globe
Thursday 6th November 2014 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Friday 7th November 2014 – London Koko
Saturday 8th November 2014 – Leicester Academy 2
Sunday 9th November 2014 – Leeds Cockpit
Wednesday 12th November 2014 – Edinburgh Caves
Thursday 13th November 2014 – Aberdeen Tunnels
Friday 14th November 2014 – Glasgow Classic Grand
Saturday 15th November 2014 – Newcastle Academy 2
Wednesday 3rd December 2014 – Manchester Academy 2
Thursday 4th December 2014 – Bristol Thekla
Friday 5th December 2014 – Stoke Sugarmill
Sunday 7th December 2014 – Birmingham Institute Library
Monday 8th December 2014 – Oxford Academy 2
Friday 12th December 2014 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Saturday 13th December 2014 – Liverpool Academy

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyLTRjMSX6k[/youtube]

 

Preview: Live at Leeds Festival 2014

 
By on Friday, 2nd May 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Live at Leeds is one of the most intense examples of one of the most intense of gig-going events: the one-dayer. Leeds boasts more than its fair share of fine venues, and Live at Leeds brings them together under one banner for 12 hours of fine new music. Your brave correspondent has attempted to listen to every one of the over 200 artists on offer – and failed. Therefore here’s a list of what stands out as a possible way to negotiate the myriad of combinations.

The Brudenell Social Club has a strong offer all day. We Were Evergreen (3 pm) trade in Parisian twee-pop blended with indie tunes: a fine, summery start. And after that, because the Brudenell has two stages, it’s one band after the other, every half hour. No time to even visit the bar. Dive In are from Glastonbury and offer chiming melodies and a voice uncannily similar to Brian Molko, if he was full of happy pills. Coasts have the nerve to call their latest single ‘A Rush Of Blood’ – and although there is a touch of Coldplay in some of their soaring choruses, they’re unlikely to be confused with the London behemoth: there’s a nice discordant solo in ‘Stay’, and ‘Wallow’ is almost like Bastille with big guitars. A mixed bag then, but certainly one worth assessing live.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68yQl4VRiBQ[/youtube]

Jarbird bring some admirably minimalist electronica overlaid with a lot of twisted, vocodered singing. And with a song called ‘More Bad Celebrity Poetry’ betraying a humourous cynicism, what’s not to like? Happyness, despite being from London, bring sunshine-on-a-string Americana – ‘It’s on You’ properly chugs like the Lemonheads, chock full of classic melodies and a college-rock slacker sensibility; ‘Montreal Rock Band Somewhere’ is a slow-burner, with a lazy bassline sketching out a groove and slurred vocals about drawing letters on one’s person. As you do. Woman’s Hour are a bit like a cross between Wild Beasts and The xx – which gives them a lot to live up to. They sound capable of it. With their debut album coming in July, now is a great time to check them out.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS5paNae-ss[/youtube]

From smooth electropop to guitars – both Creases and Primitive Parts supply lo-fi riffing and retro rock ‘n’ roll beats. Primitive Parts clearly have one or two Graham Coxon records in their collection. Onwards: I can’t stop playing ‘Hiroshima’, a fine example of orchestral pop from Norway’s Highasakite. Ingrid Helene Håvik’s vocals are stunning, framed beautifully by the delicate instrumentation.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLQqTaSg-nI[/youtube]

The 8 pm hour provides a dilemma – whether to make the 10-minute walk to The Packhorse to catch TGTF favourites The Orielles; perhaps a taxi ride to the Belgrave Music Hall to see the suave chamber delights of New York’s San Fermin, coming over all Tindersticks and Hem; or to stay at the Brudenell for an increasingly noisy night, kicking off with Montreal’s hard-riffing duo Solids. Indeed, the picture of where to be and what to hear becomes increasingly distant and hazy as the night draws in. Several hotly-tipped acts will have already been missed: Courtney Barnett, Flyte, Arthur Beatrice, and the headliners are either heavy-ish (Pulled Apart By Horses, Catfish And The Bottlemen (pictured at top), The Hold Steady), or poppy-ish (Clean Bandit, King Charles). Leeds’ very own I Like Trains set up a homecoming gig at Leeds Town Hall, celebrating 10 years in the biz.

In short, there’s something for everyone, and nobody can see everything, so it’s probably best to go with the flow and not worry too much about it. Or just spend all day at the Brudenell. See you there…

 

Live Gig Video: Catfish and the Bottlemen perform ‘Kathleen’ in latest promo video

 
By on Wednesday, 19th March 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Catfish and the Bottlemen‘s new video is for their ‘Kathleen’, currently making the radio rounds. I’m assuming that with the red and blue coloured superimposed images that it’s supposed to be watched with 3-D glasses, but seeing that I have none at the moment, you’ll need to find your own or trust me on this one. Watch it below.

 

(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #290: Catfish and the Bottlemen

 
By on Wednesday, 5th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Update 11/02/14: sadly, we have been informed that Catfish and the Bottlemen will not be appearing at SXSW 2014.

Are Catfish and the Bottlemen actually at all cool? Granted, Van McCann has the best real frontman’s name this side of W. Axl Rose, and their hair ‘n’ leather jacket visual aesthetic is certainly a reliable if a little well-worn trope. But their music – straight ahead melodic guitar-rock, as popularised by (whisper it) Stereophonics, Oasis in the early days (when they were good), and trans-Atlantic superstars Foo Fighters – it’s a far cry from that nebulous, effete je ne sais quoi style that usually sets the blogosphere alight.

The thing is, they’re such desperately good fun that any doubts about their hipster status fade under a wave of multitudinous guitars, big rock drums and McCann’s insistent, stadium-ready voice. When TGTF last caught Catfish at a Communion night at Notting Hill Arts Club in March 2013, there were no doubts about their demeanour, but the occasional quibble about their songwriting chops and the production levels of their recorded material. It is with great pleasure, then, that we can confidently declare that their recent trifecta of releases calmly assuages such doubts.

Latest single ‘Pacifier’ has a chorus that could smelt iron, insistent guitar figures throughout, a very effective dynamic and a brilliant ending. ‘Rango’ exemplifies the loud-quiet-loud genre, but confidently takes what it needs and leaves, as opposed to displaying a crutch-like dependence on such a familiar structure. The insistent result throughout their latest material is a band that would sound right at home on a big stage, working through the rock playbook without a hint of irony. Given that the genre’s mainstream profile has arguably shrunken in recent years, perhaps encouraged by tongue-in-cheek acts such as The Darkness, it’s refreshing to hear a band dive right in without any sense of selfconsciousness.

No, they’re not cool. But they rock.

 

Live Review: Communion band showcase featuring Catfish and the Bottlemen, Die Mason Die, Siblings and Jamie Parisio at London Notting Hill Arts Club – 3rd March 2013

 
By on Tuesday, 12th March 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

If, like TGTF, one finds oneself at a loose end in London on the evening of the first Sunday of the month, then there’s only one place to be. Communion is a monthly new music showcase held at the subterranean sweatbox of the Notting Hill Arts Club, which has hosted many a band early in their meteoric rise to fame. All but one performer tonight were new to TGTF, which begs the question: which of them will continue to grace these pages, and which will vanish into the musical ether with nary a footnote in the history books?

By coincidence, fellow North-Easter and recent review sunject at Roundhouse Rising Amy Holford (@Holfyy) is playing tonight, although her set has been and gone before TGTF arrives. Despite suffering an unknown malaise, her first proper London set is apparently well-received, her down-to-Earth Geordie charm no doubt a refreshing change from the usual London aloofness. Jamie Parisio (@j_parisio) offers up a pastoral, country-tinged set of acoustic numbers which hovers dangerously close to the dreadful banality of the recent plastic-folk revival. ‘Tangles Never Tire’ from recent EP You Promised The Sea sets the tone – downtempo, layered harmony vocals, led by acoustic guitar, thumpy drums and Parisio’s gentle, breathy vocals. All very nice, but as these pages attest, your correspondent is increasingly bored by earnest singer-songwriters these days. There’s so many of them! Join the queue, Jamie.

Siblings (@siblingstweet) liven things up a bit. The four Derbyshire lads all line up in a democratic row, lead singer bashing a minimalist drumkit, four-part harmonies sweetly swelling over guitar and banjo. Their material consists of admirably upbeat, deceptively simple ditties such as recent single ‘Colours’ – a fluffy, uplifting meringue of a song, jolly banjo and falsetto harmonies skipping weightlessly from one triumphant refrain to the next. Soused in Simon and Garfunkel with a seasoning of Givers, such Carib-jangle optimism comes as a refreshing, feel-good blast: a coble of hope in a sea of faux, privileged despair.

Like dogs and their owners, can a similarity be discerned between the character of a band and that of their fans? If so, Die Mason Die (@DieMasonDie) are vain, drunken boors, obsessed with papping themselves in the piercing and unflattering light of a thousand cameraphones. Yes, TGTF finds itself trapped behind a group of who at first appear to be Die Mason Die’s biggest fans – they know the musicians’ names and whoop loudly at the end of every song, even stretching to an impromptu “Happy birthday to Stefan,” at one point. Yet when the music is playing they appear completely disinterested, ignorantly braying meaningless self-congratulatory platitudes at each other, to the detriment of anyone who has actually turned up – apparently somewhat unfashionably – to listen to some music.

Eventually TGTF is forced to push as far towards the front as is necessary for the PA to drown out the miscreants: surprisingly far forward, it turns out. Such distractions are a shame, because when the music is properly audible, it becomes apparent that Die Mason Die are a very competent band led by the startling voice of Samuel Mason, whose timbre falls somewhere between the growl of a female lioness whose cubs are being threatened by a pack of ravenous hyenas, and the roar of a nearby nuclear explosion. In other words, pretty powerful stuff. The songs themselves run the gamut between down tempo, reverb-heavy dirges and slightly more uptempo, reverb-heavy dirges, high on atmospherics and mystical musings. The band are good, but the star here is Mason himself: with that astonishing voice and world-weary temperament, one gets the impression that there are many good things to come from him.

After a nouvelle-cuisine undercard of mouthwatering but delicate morsels, to wrap up the night we have the counterpoint in Catfish and the Bottlemen (@TheBottlemen). There’s something of Spinal Tap about them – the superbly-named Van McCann shakes his mop-top as if to prove it’s not a toupée, all the guitars are white, the musicians dressed in black, and they rock out. Hard. The music is noisy, relentless and infused with a youthful jollity that makes their live show such a thrilling watch. There’s flashes of Libertines decadence and Alex Turner‘s provincial sneer, but Catfish and the Bottlemen’s true passion is clearly the rockier side of the road, so there’s a splash of early Strokes naïveté mixed in with a penchant for widescreen guitars which could be stolen from any number of stadium rock bands from the last decade or so.

They’ve got nearly everything covered – great frontman, distinctive look, exciting live show – the only thing that needs a bit of work is the songwriting. The songs can sound a little too similar, the arrangements a little too stop-start formulaic, to really make the most of the potential of the performers. The humdrum production and dated effects of The Beautiful Decay EP doesn’t do them any favours, either. But a track like ‘Tyrants’ prove that the band can deliver on their potential: it shifts through several gears, at each stage ticking the relevant box of emotion and instrumentation. Anyone pondering the future of British guitar music should add Catfish and the Bottlemen to the list.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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