In the Shadows of Old Trafford Catfish and the Bottlemen, move into the Premier League.
Victoria Warehouse, stands in the shadows of Manchester United’s, Old Trafford stadium. It is fast becoming a real powerhouse venue for touring artists.
Tonight’s host, not so long ago where gigging and playing many small venues all over the Northwest, probably passing the venue on so many occasions. This is the third night of sellout concerts in front of 4,500 crowd, 13,500 over the three evenings, that is the same number of attendees at many arenas around the country. It’s not difficult to envisage that this is where CATBM are ultimately heading.
The band and their fans are on the march, over the last year showcasing there second album, playing and selling out venues up and down the country, the list of festivals, as well as successful foray over in America, under their belts is a credit to how hard the band have worked.
So, to tonight’s gig, the fans have been queuing up from early afternoon, to get in and get the best position they possibly can. With most fans entering the venue early, a large crowd is present for the Support act, JULY TALK (which, by the way, will return to Europe on their own tour. Read more about that here).
Every now and then you stumble across something different, something that totally catches you unaware. That’s what Canadian Five piece, JULY TALK did for me and I know many others at the gig tonight.
There is something strangely compelling about July Talk 5-piece ensemble, there is an instant interaction with the crowd, for this gritty Indie-punk fused band. They are polished, driven and very much interact with the crowd, all this backed up with a fusion of vocals and musical rhythm’s that was embraced by a very appreciative audience, on the back of this gig the bands next foray into venues up and down the country bodes well for them.
As the lights dim in the arena the tension and anticipation of the hosts, has the crowd highly charged, as the Echoes of the Beatles Helter Skelter fills the venue, that signals the entrance of Catfish and the Bottlemen, “Homesick”, “Kathleen” and “Soundcheck”, open tonight’s sell out gig. If anyone has any doubts of how much the band have grown, you must pick up the gauntlet that has just been laid down, anyone of these tracks could easily have been saved for the encore.
“Pacifier” followed by “Anything”, sees the band firmly taking the crowd on a musical journey. The band led by Van the Man are highly polished, “Rango” stirs up the crowd, beer flying, looking down from the balcony what looks like a sea of fans on pogo sticks, relentlessly hanging on every riff.
Van keeps things building, through “Fallout”, “Outside”, and the superb “Hourglass”. The future of the band is here on the stage, ultimately and unmistakably a true live band, many bands spend years honing their craft polishing lyrics hoping to gather enough material to keep their fans engaged, this is not a problem for the band, hard hitting lyrics along with a powerful musical undertone, delivered impeccably by a band who know where they are going, supported by a crowd that are in this for the journey.
“7” and “Coccoon” have the band and crowd seemingly at their height, as the set comes to an end, the band re-emerge and the first few strains of “Tyrant”, reignites a boisterous end to a flawless performance.
As the sweaty beer stained crowd disperse out into the evening, the words one everyone’s lips are when and where they will be seeing the band again. One thing for sure main stage festivals and Arenas are not a too distant destination.