About Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish and the Bottlemen are a Welshindie rock band, formed in Llandudno, North Wales, in 2007. Their debut album, The Balcony, reached number 10 in the UK Albums Chart and achieved Platinum status on 30 December 2016. The band has toured in South America, Japan, UK, Europe, North America, and Australia and have featured in a number of festivals including Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Latitude, Falls Festival, Community Festival, Reading and Leeds, T in the Park, Governors Ball, All Points East, Bonnaroo, Splendour in the Grass, and Trnsmt Festival. They won a Brit Award for British Breakthrough act on 24 February 2016. On 27 May 2016, they released their second album, The Ride, which reached number 1 in the UK Albums Chart and has sold 100,000 units in the UK since its release. On 26 April 2019, they released their third album, The Balance, which reached number 2 in the UK Albums Chart.
Catfish and the Bottlemen, formerly known as "The Prestige", were founded in May 2007, when Ryan "Van" McCann and William Bibby began playing guitar together at Bibby's parents home, a bed and breakfast in Llandudno, Wales. McCann's parents also ran a bed and breakfast in town and Van was a friend of Bibby's younger brother Stephen, which is how McCann and Bibby met. McCann and Bibby were joined by Benji Blakeway on bass as the third founding member of the band. Schoolmate Jon Barr followed shortly thereafter on drums. Bibby, who had been playing guitar since age 10, taught both McCann and Blakeway how to play.
They promoted themselves by playing in support slots to friends' bands, such as Northwich's The Shallow Call, and by playing in car parks after other artists' gigs, including bands such as Kasabian.Steve Lamacq first played an early demo on BBC Radio 6 Music in March 2009. During 2009, Catfish came runners up in the 'North Wales Battle of the Bands' having been beaten to the post by another local band The Fides who later closed the Conwy River Festival.
Original drummer Jon Barr was replaced by Robert "Bob" Hall in 2010. Hall was introduced to the band by North Wales-based producer Russ Hayes who was working with the band at the time. Jonathan Bond "Bondy" joined the band in August 2014 replacing Bibby.
The band derives its name from McCann's first childhood musical memory: that of an Australian street busker in Sydney, playing beer bottles strung to a wire who goes by the name Catfish the Bottleman. He was called "Catfish" because of an unusually styled spiky beard he had when he first began playing in 2000. McCann was reunited with Catfish the Bottleman in January 2015 at the studios of Triple J radio in Sydney.
The band signed to Communion Music in 2013, and released their first three singles "Homesick", "Rango" and "Pacifier" the same year. In 2014, the band signed to Island Records and on 17 March, released the single "Kathleen", produced by Jim Abbiss . All the singles were premiered by Zane Lowe and added to the playlist on Radio 1. "Kathleen" ranked at number one on MTV's hottest tracks in April 2014.
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