Catfish and the Bottlemen proved why they’re one of the most loved bands in Australia

Get the latest from Beat

Catfish and the Bottlemen proved why they’re one of the most loved bands in Australia


Synth rockers Fountaineer were clearly beside themselves with the opportunity to open the show, the band revealing how amazing it felt to be “playing their little songs about Bendigo” to thousands of people.

It’s not uncommon to see a performer ease their way into the set, strategic even given the amount of energy required for a live show. But Catfish and the Bottlemen lead singer Van McCann certainly didn’t prescribe to this line of thought, leaping across the stage during first song Homesick.

With the swagger and confidence of all the great frontmen before him, McCann commanded the stage the moment he stepped onto it. While his band members all possessed their own aura, it was McCann who stole the show, clearly feeding off every loud cheer, of which there were many. “It took us two headline tours but we’ve finally sold out a venue like this” gushed McCann, the achievement clearly not lost on him.

The band treated fans to a good mixture of tracks off The Ride and debut The Balcony, highlights of the latter such as Kathleen and Pacifier getting an early airing in the set. The blinding Soundcheck was played surprisingly early but its effect wasn’t weakened, the crowd reveling in the song’s anthemic chorus.

McCann excitedly announced Postpone as the song “off FIFA” and also dedicated Fallout to everyone sitting atop of someone’s shoulders. Songs such as Business allowed drummer Jon Barr to show off his talent, while Outside had the full band in peak form as they brought the track to its powerful conclusion.

Leaving the epic Tyrants to the end was a wise choice, given the song’s almighty build up and reprise, just when you think the band have well and truly exhausted every last drop of energy.

While there wasn’t an encore, it was hard to find a punter not looking entirely satisfied. If Catfish and the Bottlemen aren’t already considered one of the most loved bands in Australia, they certainly will be after this tour.

Highlight: The rousing sing along to Soundcheck.

Lowlight: Being too short to see well.

Crowd favourite: Someone sprinting from the toilet to hear their favourite song Tyrants.