Citadel Festival | Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bastille & more

On Sunday 14th July I went to Citadel festival in Gunnersby Park, London. It was my first music festival, albeit only a single day one, but nonetheless I was incredibly excited. The decision to go was a rather rushed and exhilarating one, as my friend and I had booked our tickets the day prior.

The headliners for the festival were Catfish and the Bottlemen, the sole reason for my going, however I was pleasantly surprised by the other bands we saw on the main stage. The first of these was Inhaler who Bono’s (from U2) son is in and later on Friendly Fires and Bastille, both of which I’d call the main supports for the day as they’re definitely a lot more known.

Friendly Fires

Friendly Fires was the first band we got up to watch, as before we’d been sitting down on the grass, and I’m so glad we did. Their music was upbeat and dancy which was a nice change to the previous lot, however the highlight had to the singer, who spent the whole set bringing out the best dance moves I’ve ever seen in a concert. They were downright hilarious, lifting the mood and creating a fun, carefree atmosphere which influenced the entire crowd.

If you’re new to Friendly Fires, the songs I would recommend are:

  • Jump In The Pool
  • Heaven Let Me In
  • Love Like Waves
  • Silhouettes


For Bastille I have to admit my expectations were shockingly low as in my mind I considered them to be has-beens as the only songs of theirs that I could recall were Pompeii and Things We Lost In The Fire. What I didn’t realise was that I’d actually heard many of their more recent songs before, on the radio, playlists and the like, without knowing that they were theirs.I enjoyed Bastille’s set tonnes more than I thought I would as I was now able to actually sing along to some of the songs being played and, of course, Pompeii was incredible when it came on. In addition, it was the birthday of the main singer, Dan Smith, so we sang happy birthday to him with England’s Cricket World Cup win being announced immediately after, which was greeted with lots of cheering.

For Bastille I’m going to try and recommend some of their lesser-known songs from their most recent album, Doom Days, which are:

  • Quarter Past Midnight
  • Million Pieces
  • Divide
  • Those Nights


Catfish and the Bottlemen

Now for the main event, Catfish and the Bottlemen, who were honestly everything I was expecting and then so much more – which is probably an over-used phrase but it is appropriate. They had actually recently played another show in London back in February however as I’d only started religiously listening to them a short while before I hadn’t managed to go, so I got rather lucky with them playing again in such a short time-span.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, their set was my favourite – all my favourite songs of theirs were played as well as a lot from their new album, The Balance. The crowd was absolutely wild for the duration of the time they were on and I got to experience mosh pits for the first time properly, which I was not prepared for initially but was loving it a few songs in.

Whilst I’d love to recommend their entire discography to you, I’ll pick a few from The Balance to start you off :

  • Fluctuate
  • Longshot
  • 2all
  • Basically
  • Sidetrack

(but really, just listen to them all)


Citadel was an amazing experience and if you’re a fan indie music it’s one of the better London festivals to go to (Community being the other). It has good headliners nearly every year as last year it was Tame Impala and I’m honestly gutted I didn’t go so don’t make the same mistake as I did. Along with the main stage they have several others to cater for a more varied music taste, in addition to comedians gracing some others and activities for kids in the dat, making it kind of the Latitude of day festivals.

The only downside to Citadel that entry is 18+ unless you’ve got an 18+ to accompany you, which means if you’re younger then you may have to rope someone else into coming with you, but if this possesses no problems for you then what are you waiting for?


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