It was Bonfire Night, the first date of Catfish and the Bottlemen’s UK tour with their album The Balcony. I was in my last year of Sixth Form and music was fast becoming something I attached myself to emotionally for the first time. When I think about 2014, I think about this album as my soundtrack.
I’d roped along one of my closest friends, Alys, who wasn’t fully aware of their music but was up for any concert I put her way, and her mum dropped us off at the tiny venue of The Globe in Cardiff. With a capacity of 350, it’s the smallest concert venue I’ve ever been to, and in hindsight, the perfect one to see this band in. Following the success of The Balcony and The Ride, they’re playing in Cardiff again soon, this time in a venue with a capacity of 7,500. To know that I got to see them in such an intimate venue is something which is pretty cool to say.
It was the year where everyone was turning 18 before me so Alys had to buy me a cider which we shared as we waited for Van McCann to wow us with his northern-tinged vocals. I had the growing anticipation you get when you’ve listened to an album on repeat for the past two months with it already forming a special place in your heart. You know that in a short space of time it will be materialised in front of your eyes, which solidifies its place there even more.
After waiting what felt like ages after the support act, they finally took to the stage and to say I was excited is an understatement. I had been waiting for this moment for three months and was fully ready to belt out ‘Kathleen’ whilst holding my half empty cider which had already made me tipsy.
They opened with ‘Rango’ and as soon as the guitar and drums combination began, an energy immediately took over the audience putting us into a frenzy which continued throughout the entire set. You could see the joy of the whole band, that the whole audience were singing back every single line back to their songs. Looking back at this, considering it was the first date of their tour, it was probably the first time after releasing their album that they’d been able to see how people had responded to it.
The whole concert went by in a blur, and in no time, they were saying their goodbyes. “Fucking hell Cardiff! What a start to the tour”, shouted Van, “we’re going to do one more for you.” The song I had been waiting for, ‘Cocoon’ started playing and the concert was made for me in that moment and I can imagine for everyone else too.
My most memorable concert, at a time in which Catfish were first starting to gain notoriety, I feel lucky to say that I saw them at this point in their career and in such an intimate venue.