For Catfish and the Bottlemen, being creatures of habits suits them just fine
House of Blues Boston, Boston, June 19, 2019
Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
Catfish and the Bottlemen would have to plead guilty to being creatures of habit. How else to explain the fact that their three albums each consist of two words with the first one being "The." Or that every song on the three albums consists of but one word.
In concert, the theme of staying true to form continued during a large portion of the show before an ultra-enthusiastic crowd.
Spreading the love fairly equally among the three albums, Catfish and the Bottlemen didn't vary all that much in their approach to song craft in the live setting. That would mean an indie rock sound that recalled Arctic Monkeys.
Lead singer Van McCann was big on commanding vocals, sometimes with songs that stuck in the head. He wasn't particularly a big talker, sometimes giving the name of the song, but not a lot more.
Near the very end of the night, McCann expanded his thoughts by telling the audience that the group they had come to see was Catfish and the Bottlemen. Maybe that's why he kept his comments limited. Fortunately, his singing more than made up for it.
He also had a lot of help from a few thousand friends - his fans. Throughout the 90-plus minutes, they seemed to know every line, taking over stanzas and needing very little encouragement to join in with abandon.
Guitarist Johnny Bond was superb, sounding like a keyboard at times. The rhythm section of drummer Bob Hall and bassist Benji Blakeman held down their end with Hall propulsive in his style.
Catfish and the Bottlemen expanded their sound as the concert wound down, stretching out a few songs with a few musical twists.
Yet, the overall effect was a meat-and-potatoes delivery. If it ain't broke... For Catfish and the Bottlemen, that m.o. worked out just fine.
The Worn Flints , a Columbus, Ohio trio who has toured previously with Catfish, acquitted itself well during its short, to the point, but on target half-hour show. Lead singer Kenny Stiegele was the main thrust of the group and made the most of it. He may not have had the prettiest voice, but he made the most of it with a fierce determination in delivering songs with throwback sounds to late '60/early '70s recalling Led Zeppelin.
Stiegele also seemed like a man possessed with oodles of humorous facial poses. The Worn Flints earned a well-deserved hand from the crowd.