By Samantha Barr
With phone cameras set to record, a 12,000 strong crowd filled the SSE Hydro waiting for headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen to take to the stage.
For some in the audience, it’s their first time seeing the four-piece live, but for others, seeing the BBC introducing alumni live in the city has become a yearly occurrence.
Talking to people in the audience, with plastic cups in hand filled with overpriced drinks, there’s a wealth of stories dating back to the bands early gigs when they played in small city venues such as the Broadcast and Classic Grand showing how far the band has come.
“We thought we better get tickets and come see what they’re like live now, they’ve did not bad considering the last time we seen them was like six years ago, with like 40 people in the room. From that then to this now is just crazy,” said one audience member.
After releasing a debut album which went to number one in the UK charts, the band have returned to Glasgow multiple times, most recently closing TRNSMT day 2 on the main stage in July.
Now promoting their most recent album, which has been referred to as ‘golden’ by music blog IndiesNotAGenre, The Balance is a true reflection of the bands brief break, with a direct link to their relationship with their fans through songs that are ‘undeniably classic Catfish.’
It’s this relationship with their fans and their work ethic from being an upcoming band that Catfish and the Bottlemen are best known for.
In an interview with Gigwise, lead singer Van McCann talks about the bands experience being an ‘undiscovered’ band and what fans support meant to them during the early days,
“It went exactly how we wanted it to. We were touring for five or six years before anyone had heard of us, so people knew our album down in Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.
In tiny 200 cap venues, people would be singing the songs before we’d recorded them…Our fans were texting in so much that they forced us onto the radio, it’s nuts.”
With neon paper wristbands adorned, crowd murmurs died down and screams erupted as the venue was plunged into darkness before the band took centre stage.
Starting off with fan favourite Longshot, the night’s setlist weaved between the bands catalogue of albums and released singles such as Kathleen, Pacifier, Homesick and Rango.
Newer tracks from The Balance, the band’s third album released earlier this year, slotted into the setlist side by side with old favourite tracks and the songs that started it all.
Acoustic track Hourglass brought every weary-eyed longtime fan together, who could be seen dotted around the arena hugging each other whilst half singing, half chanting the words they love to the domed ceiling.
Closing the bands set was the anthemic Cocoon, the biggest change to the band’s regular setlist which usually finishes with debut album track Tyrants.
The track change led to the crowd continuing to sing the chorus long after the song finished. As they left the venue, through the sea of empty plastic cups and thrown, discarded t-shirts, unsynchronised chants could still be heard singing the words;
“F**k it if they try and get to us
Cause I’d rather go blind
Than let you down”.