Indie-rock favourite Catfish and the Bottlemen took to the stage at Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Monday night as the latest edition to Radio X’s ‘Radio X Presents’ series. 

After gaining mainstream success from their 2nd album The Ride in 2016, the Welsh band are now used to sell-out arena tours with tens of thousands of fans. However, this show was exclusive to only 2,000 guests, which of course sold out instantaneously. 

Catfish opened the show with their latest single ‘Longshot’ from their third album The Balance. Straight away, frontman Van Mcann’s vocals were drowned out by a chorus of energetic fans. 

As The Balance only dropped in April, it was expected that a lot of songs would have been from this album. However, this was not the case as most of the songs on the lengthy 17 song setlist were from their older albums, maybe because they wanted to squeeze in all the fan favourites into their 90 minute set for their rare, smaller gig.

Catfish classics ‘Kathleen’ and ‘Soundcheck’ were some stand out songs at the gig simply due to the energy the band put into them. Fans knew these songs word for word as they pumped their fists in the air and climbed on each other’s shoulders to belt out the lyrics. They also rocked out to new album tracks ‘2all’, ‘Conversation’ and ‘Fluctuate’.

Throughout the show, the energy of the band mimicked that of the bouncing audience. Van looked lost deep within the music, jumping around the stage during guitar solos. He seemed to be doing his own thing, waltzing around to the beat, while his bandmates were a lot more uniform as they performed. 

Anthems ‘7’ and ‘Cocoon’ made the perfect encore which, although it seemed impossible, created more energy from the audience with even more head banging and fist pumping than before.

The band ended the night with an electric performance of ‘Tyrant’ which left the audience chanting ‘one more song’ even after the gig came to an end.

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