Catfish with support Dove and Boweevil

John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Stowmarket

Friday 25.01.2019


The former Corn Hall, now the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket played host to a great night of blues rock with Catfish guitarist Matt Long at his very best.


Having made the long journey from deepest Sussex, Catfish were ably supported by Norwich’s very own Dove and Boweevil who delivered a short opening acoustic set. The duo, Lauren Dove on vocals and Mark Howes on guitar performed a selection of songs with varying influences, from soul, to gospel and on to blues. This included an excellent & full blooded audience participating rendition of Ry Cooder’s 'Jesus On The Mainline'.



Opening up with 'Leading Me On', the British Blues Award winners Catfish’s set included a smattering of new numbers as a prelude to the third album, due in spring 2019. Namely, 'To Far To Fall', 'Break Me Down', the slower 'Ghosts' featuring the hunting tones of Paul Long and 'Archangel' which was dedicated to Matt’s sadly missed Gran. These songs suggest the new album, 'Burning Bridges', will be a worthy successor to 'Broken Man'



The current album was well represented during the set, including the title track 'Broken Man', the self confessed only happy song 'Better Days' and 'Big Shot' with its reggae undertones, lead by bassist Adam Pike, layered with those “big sexy guitar riffs” as played by Matt Long. Matt showed all his passion and phenomenal guitar playing in the cover of Foy Vance’s 'Make It Rain', a live set favourite, and one of those songs that gives you goose bumps.



The acoustics of the venue and an able sound man made for a great night and added to Catfish’s reputation for a big layered sound, swirly organ and engrossing guitar solos. The distance to the dressing room meant the usual quick dash off stage before the final flourish was aborted. But after a suitable minor break an encore of Buddy Guy’s 'Man Of Many Words' concluded the evening.


Catfish are Matt Long (guitar and vocals), Paul Long (keyboards and vocals), Adam Pike (bass) and Kevin Yates (drums). They are and excellent live band. If you haven’t yet seen them, why not? Go as soon as you can. April is a good month in the UK otherwise why not a trip to Germany in May.


Words: Bronwen Harvey

Photo: Laurence Harvey