After wondering round Hope Street, Fleet Street and eventually Wood Street, it seems that Korova is not a place that wants to be found, thanks to its multiple addresses online. On arrival, however, it appears it was worth the long hunt, as the band posters and can of red stripe in most people’s hands gives it the friendly, yet grungy feel of a basement at a student house party.
When the opening act Run Tiger Run began, the calling of a busier venue tempted many away for a drink before the main event, but the doorman assured us that they were worth hanging around for. The young act had an air of early Bombay Bicycle Club about them, with undertones of The XX in the lead singer’s voice, creating an interesting sound that made them a worthy warm up act. Unfortunately, early day jitters got the better of the band producing awkwardness on stage, but perhaps after more time spent on the gig circuit, they could really come into their element. The follow up act, came in the form of Abbey Clancey’s brother’s band, The Razz and it seemed persona certainly preceded talent. Each song seemed to generate one big blur of noise and clashing harmonies, leaving much of the crowd uninterested and bored, apart from suspected family and friends dancing away at the front. Although each particular member of the band could clearly play, there was no collective sound and it just didn’t work.
In anticipation for the main event, the small capacity of Korova becomes swamped, suggesting that we’re in for a good show. The rustic, back to basics décor of Korova seemed to reflect the look of Catfish and the Bottlemen, who perhaps refreshingly have not put all their efforts into capturing the hipster look of the day or performing to the backdrop of a dazzling light show. Instead, they arrive on stage in plain black outfits and slightly too big hair. The welsh rockers performance has a shaky start, thanks to a few broken speakers, slightly ruining the grand entrance. But once they storm into the powerful opening song ‘Rango’, however, you realise why you came to see Catfish and not the opening two bands. They bring into their performance a new level of class, with their accomplished sound and energy on stage. The audience seemed to agree, with hands in the air, screaming the words and having a competition with the band of who can head bang the most. There is so much electricity on stage that unfortunately the fuse blows; lights, sound, power gone. After a few painfully long minutes for Korova, the power is returned and once again the pounding rhythm of the band returns. Annoyingly, the power cut created quite stressful vibe to the rest of the act, as it felt like the band were rushing through the show to avoid another mishap.
All in all Catfish and the Bottlemen lived up to the rumour that they know how to put on a good show. At the end frontman, Van McCann shouted ‘let’s get bigger so we can get a better venue with f**** lights and sound!’ If they continue to perform like this and write songs like ‘Homesick’ and ‘Sidewinder,’ then hopefully this request will come true.