Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen broke into the UK music scene with debut album 'The Balcony' in 2014. Led by the wide-eyed exuberance and infectious confidence of front man Van McCann, the band were a gang of 15-year-old school friends with a love of Arctic Monkeys when they formed in Llandudno, Wales in 2007. With Billy Bibby (guitar), Benji Blakeway (bass) and Jon Barr (drums) completing their first line-up, they grafted hard and would play in car parks outside of Kasabian gigs and hand out demo CDs to drum up interest, before self-releasing early EPs 'Poetry & Fuel' in 2009 and 'Beautiful Decay' in 2010. Critics generally sneered at their naivety and atypical indie rock image, but through sheer enthusiasm and relentless ambition they eventually landed a record deal in 2013 with label Communion Music, which was founded by Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett. Singles 'Homesick' and 'Kathleen' were early fan favourite anthems, and when they unexpectedly drew a massive crowd at the Reading and Leeds Festival, the industry gradually began to take notice of the band which had organically built up a sizeable fan base. Their 2014 album 'The Balcony' went on to reach number ten in the UK charts. The same year, the band made their US TV debut on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' and were named British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards. Along the way Bob Hall took over on drums in 2010 and Johnny Bond became lead guitarist in 2014, before the band went on to top the UK Albums Chart for the first time with 'The Ride' in 2016 and played some of the biggest stadiums in America when they supported Green Day on their Revolution Radio tour. 'Longshot' became their biggest hit single when it reached number 25 in the UK, and they returned with a more diverse sound on third album 'The Balance' in 2019, which they recorded with Irish producer Jacknife Lee.

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