LIVE REVIEW: Catfish and the Bottlemen, 02 Academy, Newcastle

Catfish and the Bottlemen on stage at the O2 Academy.
Catfish and the Bottlemen on stage at the O2 Academy.

INDIE band of the moment Catfish and the Bottlemen delivered an energetic set at Newcastle’s 02 Academy.

The highly anticipated sold-out gig by the Welsh four-piece simply rocked.

Van McCann of Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Van McCann of Catfish and the Bottlemen.

It was one of the most exciting gigs I’ve seen in a long time.

The hour-long set was packed with fast-paced sing-along songs from their début album, The Balcony, and the lively crowd lapped it up.

Highly entertaining throughout, frontman Van McCann put on a stellar performance.

Bouncing around the stage he worked the crowd, coaching them to take the lead during epic choruses of Kathleen and Pacifier.

Strobe lights fuelled the rousing performance and the crowd turned into sea of swaying bodies as people danced about to the music.

Homesick, 26 and Business were well received as crowd surfers took their chance to get to the front.

McCann couldn’t thank fans enough for their support and seemed genuinely overwhelmed that the band had sold out a venue of this scale.

Slowing the show for just one song, he picked up an acoustic guitar and, on stage alone, played Hourglass, which went down a storm, too.

The tempo was swiftly ramped back up as they blasted out Cocoon, which had the whole place buzzing.

Ending with Tyrant, the band left everyone wanting more.

I suspect next time they head to the region it’ll be for a gig at the arena.

A word of advice, “make it your business” to catch Catfish and the Bottlemen live, as soon as you can.

Support came from local heroes Little Comets, who opted not to play some of their more popular songs, opting instead to showcase new material.

But the gig was opened by a short slot from 10-year-old Tom Smith, who has been taken under Catfish and the Bottlemen’s wing after being diagnosed with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

He showed no sign of nerves and lots of stage presence during his 15-minute slot, during which he played a handful of covers, including Rihanna’s Four Five Seconds.