|Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sacramento, October 2014|
I was kicking myself, earlier in the week, for almost missing last night's Catfish and the Bottlemen's show at the Assembly, Sacramento
: this is their first USA tour, they have sellout dates lined up back in the UK, and they have already built a fine reputation for working at their art. So glad I remembered in time... and I was not disappointed, and neither were those fans who had been at their show in San Francisco the night before, and made the trek up to (or back to?) Sacramento for the next show. I can understand why they did that. I can understand why shows are sold out months in advance in the UK, where they are obviously better-know than they are here in the USA.
|Van McCann, vocals, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sacramento, October 2014|
I think that will change. You've heard Kathleen
on the radio? These are those guys.
|Benji Blakeway, bass, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sacramento, October 2014|
Catfish and the Bottlemen are Van McCann (lead vocals), Johnny 'Bondy' Bond (lead guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass guitar) and Bob Hall (drums). While they are based in Llandudno in the north of Wales (a nice seaside town), I didn't hear any Welsh accents... I heard more East Midlands, and it sounded like home.
|Bondy, guitar, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sacramento, October 2014|
The size of the audience last night must have been a little disappointing, but if it was, the band didn't let on. They played as if before a full house. They thanked the audience for being there, in true British style: "Thank you for having us!". They played like true professionals, and that's what they are. Great music, great show. We had a wonderful concert for all of $12 at the door. You really should have been there, and I think, by this time next year, shows in the USA will be sold out, just like they are already in the UK.
|Bob Hall, drums, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sacramento, October 2014|
Catfish and the Bottlemen's album, The Balcony, is riding high in the UK album charts
(it's still an import here in the US but is available through Amazon). Their EP, Kathleen and the Other Three
, is avaialble from iTunes. Find out more about them on their website
If you've not heard them yet, here's Kathleen:
(Last night's show was all red light, every song, no white light at all, just red, all the way through the show, every song. For anyone who's not a photographer: red stage light is the most problematic to photograph, and made even more difficult when the light levels are utterly and ridiculously low, despite a lighting setup that most professional theatres would envy. (Yes that's you I'm talking too, Assembly
, not the band!) Red light washes out all of the detail and texture in photos, and you can't bring it back: the camera cannot capture nuances of shade, expression, texture. We can sometimes convert the images to reasonable black-and-white shots: this time, I wanted to embrace the red images, more as a capture of atmosphere than a documentary... Otherwise you just have to give up the photos, and simply enjoy the music. It is what it is. You'll see it in all its glory in the Toon's Tunes photo gallery for Catfish and the Bottlemen!
If you like Catfish and the Bottlemen
, you might also enjoy Beware of Darkness