2014 is going to be the best year yet for Llandudno four piece Catfish and the Bottlemen. The Communion-signed rock band have been touring non-stop for what seems two years straight, and the hard work is certainly starting to pay dividend.

They have trips to Amsterdam and the States already booked in the calendar, and will be playing the Tramlines and Redfest festivals. They even have an invite to the prestigious Governor's Ball in New York. All of this and it’s only March. The trajectory of this band has been immense, and there’s no sign of them dropping down a gear. Their new single 'Kathleen' was recently announced as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record In The World, and if that isn’t enough they’re about to head into the studio to record their debut album.

It’s like the band are already aware of this inevitable rise. They look so relaxed and in control on stage at the East Village Arts Club. Smooth front man Van McCann thanks the Liverpool crowd numerous times for attending, and it’s refreshing to see a musician both so thankful and having so much fun on stage. The increasing following Catfish have cultivated from just a string of Liverpool gigs is in attendance, and when favourites like 'Homesick', 'Rango' and 'Pacifier' start they do their utmost to show their appreciation. The Welsh band are blown away by the support, and halfway through the gig McCann says excitedly into the mic, “That’s the first time we’ve had a chant!”

As preparation for hitting the studio, the set was filled with new songs, and although it’s hard off one listen they’re sounding very promising. Catfish and the Bottlemen are going to be big; it’s just a case of how big and how soon. They have great people behind them at Communion, and as this big year slowly chugs on the opportunities are only going to get more exciting.

For me it’s about those album tracks, and adding the right mix to the four to five colossal songs they have already released. It seems the bar is very high for a debut album, especially for a present day rock band, but there seems to be something special about Catfish and the Bottlemen and more people seem to be realising by the day.

The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Marie Hazelwood.

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Commenting On: East Village Arts Club, Liverpool, 23/2/2014 - Catfish and the Bottlemen

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