Music review: Catfish and the Bottlemen

Van McCann sings with an approximation of raw passion. Picture: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images
Van McCann sings with an approximation of raw passion. Picture: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images
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As this country lurches further towards the right, it makes a dispiriting kind of sense that a small-c conservative band such as Catfish and the Bottlemen should prove so popular.

SECC, Glasgow *

We are living in a bankrupt age where young musicians with no ideas are being influenced by the equally dreadful “landfill indie” bands of the early Noughties. As if enduring the offensively bland likes of The Kooks and Razorlight wasn’t bad enough the first time around.

Listening to their dreary grind of grey would-be anthems is like being strangled to death by a stale pair of skinny jeans.

And yet The Kids love ‘em, as this sold-out show confirmed. Why? What is there to love about a bunch of monochrome nonentities performing such mediocre guitar rock? Presumably this is the only band they’ve ever heard in their lives.

Singer “Van” McCann yelps with a vague approximation of raw-throated passion, his lyrics an even more self-conscious version of the bus shelter poetry of Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys.

He barely communicated with his adoring audience between songs, as he literally has nothing to say. The prolonged silences as they prepared to trudge into another non-tune spoke volumes.

The solo acoustic Glasgow – which naturally received a particularly ecstatic reception – is a half-decent song, suggesting that the only feasible good to come of any of this would be if McCann ditched the band and went solo. He wouldn’t be any more interesting, but at least he’d be slightly more listenable.

PAUL WHITELAW