PICS: Catfish and the Bottlemen, July Talk at House of Blues

Talk about an indie-rock double whammy: Catfish and the Bottlemen, and July Talk threw down at House of Blues San Diego on May 23.

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Tim Fears
Catfish and the Bottleman hail from Llandudno, Wales and got their start in 2007 (even though the guys have said “we lived there but we’re not actually Welsh”). Either way, San Diego loves ‘em!
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July Talk, who recently headlined Soda Bar, were tapped to open the tour.
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Fun fact: Catfish and the Bottlemen were originally known as the Prestige.
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The band (which consists of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Evan "Van" McCann, bassist Benjamin Blakeway, guitarist Johnny "Bondy" Bond, and drummer Robert "Sideshow Bob" Hall) got their start playing car parks after other artists’ gigs. An early demo was played on BBC Radio 6 Music in 2009.
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That same year, they came runners up in the ‘North Wales Battle of the Bands,’ losing to a band called the Fides.
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The band’s name is derived from McCann’s first childhood memory of an Australian street busker in Sydney, playing beer bottles strung to a wire – and going by the name Catfish the Bottleman.
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McCann and the real-life Catfish busker actually reunited in January 2015 at the Triple J studios in Sydney.
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Their debut album, “The Balcony,” was released on Sept. 15, 2014. The album charted at No. 10 on the UK Albums Chart. Later that year, they won the BBC Introducing Award at the BBC Music Awards.
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Two years later, they won the British Breakthrough Act category at the 2016 Brit Awards.
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Their second album, “The Ride,” was released on May 27 last year. It reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart.
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The band’s May 23 set list included the following songs: “Homesick,” “Kathleen,” “Soundcheck,” “Pacifier,” “Anything,” “Business,” “Oxygen,” “Twice,” “Fallout,” “Outside,” “Hourglass,” “7,” “Cocoon” and “Tyrants.”
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July Talk -- who originated in Toronto, Canada in 2012 – opened the show.
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The dynamic band consists of singers Peter Dreimanis (right) and Leah Fay (left), guitarist Ian Docherty, bassist Josh Warburton, and drummer Danny Miles.
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Both Dreimanis and Fay are onstage dynamos – often playing off each other in a theatrical way during performances. They make for some great photos, wouldn’t you agree?
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The band released its self-titled debut album in 2012 and followed it up with their second, “Touch,” on Sept. 9, 2016.
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In 2015, the band received a Juno Award (Canadian version of the Grammys) for Alternative Album of the Year.
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After “Touch” came out, the album’s first single “Push + Pull” held the No. 1 spot on the Canadian Alternative Radio charts for more than three months in 2016.
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Fun fact: Fay had the lead role in the 2015 film, “Diamond Tongues.” She earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Actress at the 4th Canadian Screen Awards in 2016.
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Here’s another trivia tidbit for you: Dreimanis is also known for his cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic song, "Bad Moon Rising" which was used in multiple television shows, films and video games such as “The Walking Dead” and “Green Room.” It was released under the moniker Mourning Ritual.
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The band’s May 23 set list included the songs “Picturing Love,” “Summer Dress,” “Now I Know,” “Gentleman,” “Beck + Call,” “Guns + Ammunition,” “Push + Pull” and “The Garden.”
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