Live review: Catholic Action

By Nathan Matheson

Catholic Action make a triumphant return to their hometown as they play to a packed out King Tut’s. As a band I’ve seen a number of times over the last year, it was nice to see them take the headline slot, and boy do they belong there.

The crowd was invested in the show from start to finish, owing to the incredible stage presence of the band. That’s not to say that they didn’t keep everyone on their toes.  The set was kept lively with a variety of different moods being created through the sheer versatility of the set-list.

The set took an emotional turn for a few songs, with singer Chris McCrory referring to one song – All Black – as “too sad to play live,” according to fans. That didn’t stop them playing it anyway. In fact, it turned out to be one of my favourite moments of the set. It was the perfect moment to showcase McCrory’s amazing voice and excellent songwriting ability. The Shallows was a personal highlight of the evening, an indie ballad fostering poignant aspects of love and youth.

The band didn’t anchor the audience in emotional lyrics and melodies for too long, as they quickly switched up the set by performing the second track of their new double A-side single, Rita Ora. The band have this incredible ability to write the catchiest riffs and choruses I have ever heard and this is the pinnacle. The chorus is still bouncing around my head! A heavier rendition of the song was exciting, managing to evoke a small mosh pit, “that was started by my Mum,” exclaimed McCrory. The boys then finished up with L.U.V. sending the crowd into overdrive.

Overall, Catholic Action are one of the most exciting up and coming bands. Their unique blend of genres make for a truly unparalleled sound. They are essentially a “pop rock” band, their choruses and refrains are that of pop perfection. There are strong influences from glam rock bands such as T. Rex or The New York Dolls throughout their melodies, bass lines and guitar hooks. However, there are moments in punchy numbers like Breakfast that reflect a more garage rock sound. This completely original sound is one of  the main reason why they are making such an impact, it’s catching the attention where others are slipping through the net.

I’m looking forward to hearing about this band’s journey, which I am sure is going to be one of great successes, that is, if this performance is anything to go by.