02/26/15 Columbus, OH Basement
02/28/15 Detroit, MI Shelter
03/01/15 Lansing, MI Mac’s Bar
03/03/15 Toronto, ON The Garrison
03/04/15 Montreal, QC Divan Orange
03/05/15 Boston, MA Great Scott
03/06/15 Philadelphia, PA MilkBoy
03/07/15 Buffalo, NY Studio at Waiting Room
03/09/15 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
03/11/15 Washington, DC DC9
03/12/15 Richmond, VA The Camel
03/14/15 Nashville, TN The High Watt
03/15/15 Atlanta, GA Vinyl
The North Wales foursome that showed up for a roaring 55 min. set at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, represents the future of British indie rock, and the receptive audience that was there to witness, clearly felt the same way.
The band (Lincoln Kreifels- vocals, Lucas Hughes-guitar, Ethan Kaufmann- bass and Cary LaScala- drums) plays a likeable sonic blend that sits well alongside tracks by Spoon, Phoenix, and Magic Man.
Current single ‘OutRight’ was well received with Kreifels moving from left to right across the small stage, engaging with the audience. Though not the wild party performance you may think of with confetti, balloons, and streamers, the Texas four-piece does deliver entertaining enough indie pop to keep them on your radar for future happenings.
After a brief intermission, lights dimmed and stayed dark for all of the set (which challenged anyone photographing), except for a few turned down red spotlights, as Catfish and the Bottlemen took to the stage.
cut-out stage setup
The lighting quick drums and throbbing bass intro of ‘Rango’ got things going, with its Johnny Marr-esque guitar immediately getting parts of the floor of the small venue jumping. Their debut full-length, The Balcony (on the Mumford and Sons-shepherded Communion Records label) just came out stateside in January, but many in the crowd, seemed to already know all of the lyrics.
“Thank you for selling this place out, it took us seven years to fill a place like this in England” singer McCann noted after ‘Sidewinder’. The band had played in town to a smaller handful last June with only their Kathleen and the Other Three ep out, but have since blown up, most notably taking the best new artist BBC Introducing trophy at December’s inaugural BBC Music Awards.
Shouts to buy McCann a drink were rebuffed as he replied wanting to preserve his voice after a rough couple shows. A seething ‘26’ followed, with McCann’s vocals at the forefront behind the chugging backbeat of Hall and Blakeway and we understood his reasoning for turning down a shot.
Biggest song to date, ‘Kathleen’ was played mid-set, with McCann giving appreciation to radio stations that have played the single, getting the band more noticed in America.
Beginning song of the album, ‘Homesick’ would follow with the group likely not feeling that way, as the 250 strong crowd shouted the chorus back at them in tandem, to the chagrin of a smiling McCann. A gentle ‘Hourglass’ was next, with the other three exiting the stage to leave only McCann and his acoustic guitar to serenade us.
“We wish we had more, we’ve had a proper good time” and “…we’ve got no encore” teasing they have their 2nd album ready but not ready to play, and the four-piece finished the evening with the sprawling ‘Tyrants’, which cinematically takes its time building and has the largest scope of any of their songs.
Singer McCann has openly stated he was born via IVF treatments, i.e. through In vitro fertilization or as a “test tube baby” wherein the fertilization takes place outside of the body, making him the first singer (that I know of) to be of such origin. This is the future. And with Catfish and the Bottlemen, McCann and mates are sonically charting the future as well.
Catfish and the Bottlemen at 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis (21 Feb 2015)