Catfish-and-the-Bottlemen

Rebecca Sowray experiences the pure wave energy from her indie heroes.

4th October 2013
Through the kaleidoscope of rain drops on my glasses I admire a painted Full Moon sign in the dark.  It’s a good strong image for a local venue that I’m praying deserves its place in the musical cosmos.
Then I’m standing stupidly in front of security trying to remember my name, or at least whose name the tickets are in.  And there’s that conversation that you don’t have with people you don’t know very well.  The Cure v. The Smiths.  Now be quiet; don’t start on me.  It doesn’t actually matter a damn, we’re all the same tribe in any event. But when I walk into a venue and Boys Don’t Cry gets into my boots I’m happy.
The yes-no sense that you have in venues, theatres and public spaces generally is saying yes; nodding in approval.  That they’ve a good fast bar with loads of well-known and excellent beers makes a fine start.  And it walks the walk this place: dark walls, art photography, decent lighting.  Wooden floors underfoot throughout means that this is dance space.  These days my geek-tech ends with my phone but there’s a sound desk that looks like they’ve borrowed it from NASA.
First up are The Ruby Dukes.  A support band.  There isn’t actually anything better than that wondering – what are they, who are they, is now the time for another beer?  They played the Full Moon as a three piece acoustic set and they set a high target for anything that came after.  Lead vocals from Zak; these really turn; power and delicacy and handle lyrics with control.  Percussion and guitar are great.  These are good tunes that don’t take the obvious road, a strong rock sound that’s going somewhere.  They’ve a new single to show-off and it’s worth a listen; go look out for Paper Sunset out on iTunes.
This turned out to be a Friday for vocal powers though.  Another support.  I’m not liking this word support by now; the more the evening works on me the less those letters work as any sort of description.  Moscow Music.  Guys, seriously, thanks for introducing yourselves and I’m deeply regretful that I’ve never heard you before.  But do you know how many bands called Moscow a Google search throws back?  But voice.  Voice and good strong music.  A vocal shift thing that calls to mind a goth band or three. Dark and doom laden and really rather glorious.  Complex guitar lines, a real sense of music being constructed, a careful engineering of parts, strong movement, and did I mention that driven and entrancing vocalist?  I did?  Good.
A break and slowly the stage is emptied of kit.  Last up before the headliners are Vellocet.  Now I’ve had people ramble on to me about this band and they’re worth the conversation.  They’ve an instant rapport with the audience that many a larger band in a bigger venue could learn from.  They’re accomplished and confident, dark indie guitar lovers will love this. They also pulled off a fabulous reworking of Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here Right Now’ that only added to the original.
And the headliners; Catfish and the Bottlemen.  Having failed spectacularly to see these guys closer to home, they are the reason why I’ve discovered this new music space in the Full Moon.  So I’ve already one reason to be thankful to them.
If music is energy, pure wave form transferred then these guys know how to channel it.  Their music is fast and accessible and an utterly psyched audience is instantly at their call.  Their new single Rango is most definitely a good sign for things to come.  Already very much indie heroes both locally and further afield Rango takes them somewhere more detailed, more narrative without losing any of that audience grabbing power.
Their recorded stuff is a great listen but these guys are most definitely a live band too.  There’s texture and syncopation in their work that I hadn’t appreciated to this point and they’ve an awareness of each other as they play that seems but the door to more great stuff to come.
It was a great crowd to be in as Catfish played their music and us.  There was absolutely no danger of anyone trying to dance while still holding a pint and this pleases me beyond reason.
Full Moon is a real music place. Yes the beer’s good and the promotions wild, yes the décor’s right and space and the acoustics perfect but the people are quite possibly the best thing.  A group of music tribe there to listen and live in the music for a few hours.  Absolutely ace.
https://www.facebook.com/TheRubyDukes
http://moscowmusic.bandcamp.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/lizardlords
https://www.facebook.com/pages/VELLOCET/106890402399
http://www.catfishandthebottlemen.com/
and last but by-no-means-at-all least
https://www.facebook.com/fullmooncastle
 
Rebecca Sowray  http://rebeccasowray.wordpress.com/
Or talk to me on twitter @RedStar240