Catfish & the Bottlemen by Alex Huggan

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 (Arctic MonkeysKasabianAdele). 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.

Catfish and the Bottlemen performing live on the Downtown Stage at Life is Beautiful by Alex Huggan

In summer 2014, Catfish and the Bottlemen performed at a number of festivals in the UK and Europe, including Reading and LeedsLatitudeKendal CallingY Not FestivalStrawberry Fields FestivalT in the ParkPinkpopBingley Music Live and Ibiza Rocks. They also played at New York’s Governors Ball. On 19 June 2014, the band announced the release of their debut studio album The Balcony.

Catfish and the Bottlemen performing live on the Downtown Stage at Life is Beautiful by Alex Huggan

Founding lead guitarist Billy Bibby suddenly and unexpectedly ceased performing with the band in the summer of 2014 and was replaced by Johnny “Bondy” Bond. On 25 July 2014, the band cancelled three festival appearances due to “unforeseen personal circumstances”. On 13 August 2014, the band posted on Facebook: “Some of you will have noticed that we have been playing with a different guitarist over the past weekend. Unfortunately, due to some personal circumstances, Billy won’t be touring with the band for the foreseeable future.” When asked about leaving the band, Bibby commented, “Well to be honest after Catfish I had no plans. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just started writing songs and it took off from there… and “I’m proud of what I did in Catfish and what I achieved and everything that came with it, but I’m just looking into the future now with my band and that’s all I’m focused on”. In autumn of 2015, he founded a new band, Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles.

Catfish and the Bottlemen performing live on the Downtown Stage at Life is Beautiful by Alex Huggan

The Balcony was released on 15 September 2014. Shortly afterwards, the band also announced a UK tour. The album charted at number 10 on the UK Albums Chart in the week ending 27 September 2014, was certified Silver in the UK on 9 January 2015, was certified Gold on 20 March 2015 and reached Platinum sales on 30 December 2016. 

They won the BBC Introducing Award at the first BBC Music Awards in December 2014 and performed “Kathleen”

The Balcony was released in the US on 6 January 2015. The following day, the band performed on the Late Show with David Letterman.

In an interview with WOW247, McCann said that the band have “three albums written already”. He continued to say that “I’m more excited for the second album than the first, because the workload is done now”.

At the 2016 Brit Awards, the band won in the British Breakthrough Act category. They headlined Liverpool Sound City in May 2016, their first headline slot at a festival.

 

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