All Points East Festival - Catfish and The Bottlemen
2018 seems to be the summer of festivals for Catfish and the Bottlemen. This is a testament to the great development of this indie four-piece, who seamlessly captivate any audience ranging from intimate shows to headlining festivals. This meteoric rise to the top of festival bills will not come as a shock to anyone who has witnessed a live performance from the Welsh outfit, fronted by singer Van McCann, as you cannot help get sucked in by their bouncy lyrics and energetic riffs.
The Friday billing of this inaugural event, being hosted at Victoria Park in London, was filled to the brim with talent such as up and comers Redfaces, The Magic Gang, The Amazons, Blossoms and The Hunna. The depth of talent on show here may have caused a quieter atmosphere for some of the headliners considering the chaotic events of the day but Catfish had no such problem. However before the madness of their set ensued we had a day of excellent talent to soak up. The ones that particularly caught our eye were 'The Magic Gang' and 'The Hunna' who headlined the ‘North Stage’.
The Magic Gang
Our only doubt about The Magic Gang was the sheer shock that they were placed so low on the bill. However, they quickly showed the festival what they are all about. The atmosphere created by the fans who gathered to see this band (who only released their debut self-titled album earlier this year) was immense, and even resulted in a rather comical moment where a sole shoe had ended up travelling from the crowd toward the direction of guitarist and vocalist Kristian Smith. Normality resumed once lead singer Jack Kaye took time out of the set to return the shoe to its owner before continuing with their catchy songs. Definitely ones to look out for in the future if you haven’t already.
A band that we’re incredibly familiar with, The Hunna, also graced us with their summer anthems. This set was a perfect festival performance for a band who looked to be a natural fit on such a stage and who will definitely rise to the top with new their singles such as ‘NY to LA’ which are proving to be even more impressive than their debut release, ‘100’. These new tracks come from their new album ‘Dare’ which will be released next month, so keep your eyes peeled.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Opening their set with a flurry of lighting and the sounds of ‘Helter Skelter’ (a common entrance song for the band), they jumped straight into two hits from their debut album, ‘The Balcony’, in ‘Homesick’ and ‘Kathleen’ giving the adoring crowd something to savour as they sung every lyric at the top of their lungs. These openers really set the mood for the rest of the set as they moved into playing some more tunes from their current library.
The layers of quality within the band were most definitely on show as they changed the pace through songs such as ‘Heathrow’ and ‘Hourglass’ that allowed the crowd to pour their emotions out and encourage a more intimate feel, a feat that is incredibly difficult to achieve on such a huge stage. Excitement continued for new song ‘Fluctuate’ (Listen below) which demonstrates a darker, more atmospheric sound.
As the set raced to a close with a big ending of ‘Tyrants’ the energy and enthusiasm of the performance did not falter one bit and you could tell the band were just ecstatic to be there. This moment was evident when McCann seemingly refused to leave the stage at the end stood alone embracing the adulation from the crowd and repeatedly thanking the crowd for what he claimed to be the biggest show of their career. It seems like it won’t be the biggest show for long though as they head to Lolapalooza this summer and look to push on and play stadiums which will be driven by the army of fans following their quest for stardom.
If you are a fan of any of these bands then keep track of our Spotify playlist, constantly updated with new and old Indie bangers!