Catfish and the Bottlemen are a UK rock band that have worked their way up the music ladder the good old fashioned way. Acting like true rock rebels, the band once set up stage in the parking lot of a Kasabian gig. When the crowd came out of the show, they were hit with the musical stylings of Catfish, live… and wearing full on ninja gear (masks included). Gigs in rooms of 20 people, dive bars, and pop-up shows like “Kasabian-gate” were how the band landed where they are today. Their live performances include the first ever annual BBC Music Awards show, The Late Show with David Letterman, and numerous music festivals across the UK and Europe. They also had their first headlining tour this past year in the UK, Europe, US, and Canada.
Fronted by lead singer Van McCann, who started the band at the tender age of fourteen and has been touring ever since, the band creates a wall of sound mixed with relatable lyrics and a rock vibe. Growing up immersed in the music scene, McCann got in loads of trouble for missing so much school to tour the country with his older bandmates, but rock waits for no man. Current other members include: Johnny “Bondy” Bond on lead guitar, Benji Blakeway on bass guitar, and Bob Hall on drums. The hair in this band is more in sync than a 90s boy band.
The band’s name derived from McCann’s first memory of music – a one-man band busker who created melodies by tapping bottles on the streets of Australia, appropriately named Catfish the Bottleman. Fun Fact: McCann and the band were recently reunited with the Bottleman himself during an interview, where they joined him in playing some bottles and the Bottleman promised not to sue for the stolen name.
McCann has openly discussed that writing songs is not a personal experience for him, as he likes to write for the masses and draw upon largely relatable topics. Some of the band’s best tracks include “Kathleen,” featured on Fifa 15, “Cocoon,” “Homesick,” “Hourglass,” and one of their golden oldies “Sidewinder.” So basically, if you have been looking for that authentic UK rock sound and songs that hit home in the best ways, then look no further. The band’s album The Balcony hit stores back in 2014, but the tunes are simply timeless.
Ella Deutsch, Online Contributor
Image: Mitchell Mclennan