Catfish and the Bottlemen / Twin Atlantic at the First Direct Arena – Live Review

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By Jack


Few bands come pre-assembled for arena rock greatness, but Catfish and the Bottlemen certainly do. Their loud laddish pub rock was destined to rattle the rafters, as it did on this rainy Monday in Leeds.

Support could not come more perfectly poised for this particular crowd than Twin Atlantic. The indie upstarts from Glasgee had exactly the kind of fuzz-heavy guitar sound Catfish fans would want, paired with singer Sam McTrusty’s swooping & boyish brogue. New cut ‘Novocaine’ popped, while ‘Heart & Soul’ predictably set the mosh pit off early.

After a bizarre karaoke of ‘Helter Skelter’ segueing into the Beatles original, Catfish take to the stage above waves of screaming fans. They’re a pretty belt and braces band, and those expecting bells and whistles were in the wrong place. It was bloody-nosed indie rock all night, sans bells, and besides some animated cover art it was just the band up there projected in monochrome on huge video screens.

‘Kathleen’ and ‘Twice’ send the standing section into a whirl from which they never return. With the exception of an acoustic ‘Hourglass’, the energy is relentless. Plastic pint glasses go flying, someone loses their coat and this too is tossed to the rafters. The steam rising from the bouncing crowd, one heaving mass of humanity, is clearly visible as the chill of the arena evaporates into a sweatbox.

By the time the show closes on early favourite ‘Cocoon’ your ears are ringing, you’re  slap-happy and punch-drunk; as well as being a bit actually drunk. Catfish may not be poets, but they play pedal to the metal, and the young crowd assembled threaten to shake the foundations.

As a double bill Twin Atlantic and Catfish & The Bottlemen ought to team up more often: they put on quite the show.

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