Catfish & The Bottlemen – SSE Wembley Arena, London (22nd February 2019)

At a sold-out Wembley Arena, tonight’s show felt like the first big test for Catfish & The Bottlemen  this year as they embark on their third chapter with the release of upcoming album ‘The Balance’ (out 26th April).

The crowd on the outskirts of central London here were completely elated and wholly enthused – the entirety of the floor heaving and swaying.

The love for Catfish was clear this evening. The reception for new songs ‘Longshot’ and ‘Fluctuate’ was mind-blowing. Barely released for two months, each track had fans screaming as if they had always been part of the set list.

The security in the Arena had their work cut out tonight. Shining staggeringly bright torches at those on friend’s shoulders and chasing those who set flares off.

Catfish have nailed a formula for relatable and engaging tunes. They write pure guitar songs that cut to the core of what Indie is all about.

When frontman Van McCann took to the stage to deliver a solo rendition of ‘Hourglass’, he sang almost none of the words. The Wembley crowd took that mantle, singing the words back in perfect unison as if it were a mass offering of gratitude.

There is no other band with such a sense of continuity between records than Catfish & The Bottlemen. Similar themes, almost identical artwork and always emotive, it is impossible not to buy into this band.

They are perhaps one of the only bands that has come through in the past decade that can be considered as having headliner potential.

This set, brimming with huge hits ‘Cocoon’, ‘Pacifier’, ‘Twice’ and ‘Soundcheck’, was made all the better by the livewire performance from McCann and the spectacular sound quality from this top London venue.

Catfish are a band on a journey that is nowhere near ending. Tonight felt special and went some way to cementing their place at the top of current British music.

 Watch out for the new album, it could be the soundtrack of your year.