The Hunna and Barns Courtney at the House of Blues

While opening for Barns Courtney, UK band The Hunna performed a crowd pleasing show at the House of Blues on September 25, 2019.

Let’s flashback to 2016. Picture me sitting in study hall in high school with my best friend Emma. We were listening to every single artist that would be playing Wayhome in the following summer. For those of you who do not know, Wayhome was a music festival about an hour north of Toronto. Emma types into YouTube, “The Hunna.” She clicks on the first video, “Bonfire.” I am hooked by about ten seconds in. 

This is the story of how I found and fell in love with a band called The Hunna. The worst part about that story is that their former manager double booked them, two festivals in the UK that were the same time as two festivals in the US. Since this band is from Hertfordshire, England, they obviously chose the UK festivals. The Hunna formed in 2015, and is comprised of singer and guitarist Ryan (Tino) Potter, lead guitarist Daniel (BD) Dorney, bassist Junate (Prince) Angin, and drummer Jack (IK) Metcalfe. 

Now, let’s flashback to 2017. Picture me sitting in my quad dorm at my desk, getting ready to go out for the night. I am playing The Hunna, and I hear my roommate, Adrienne, singing along. I turn around and ask, “are you singing?” She of course responds, “yes,” which has me screaming at her, “you know The Hunna?” That is how I knew Adrienne and I were going to be friends forever.

I finally got to see The Hunna live in April 2018, with Adrienne. They headlined the House of Blues in San Diego. It was one of the best shows I have ever been to, and I got to talk to the band after the show. That day, Tino got a tattoo that says, “Y.D.W.I.W.M.” which is one of their songs. They are genuinely the nicest people, and they even recorded a video saying hello to my mom. My mom is a humongous The Hunna fan. Since The Hunna rarely tour the US, I really did not know when I would get to see them live again.

On September 26, I finally got to see The Hunna again, but this time from the photo pit at the House of Blues. They played a total of nine songs: We Could Be, Fever, Babe Can I Call?, IGHTF, Flickin’ Your Hair, Y.D.W.I.W.M., She’s Casual, Bonfire and D. G. A. F. They stopped to talk about a lot of the meanings behind their songs, or stories that had to do with a specific song. My favorite story that they told that night was about “She’s Casual”. It was the first song they had ever written together. It was written in a shed while they were all stoned out of their minds, and they didn’t believe that they wrote that good of a song because of how high they were. The crowd was going absolutely wild for The Hunna, which seemed to shock the band. Everyone was screaming the words right back at them, which made Tino state that San Diego was the best date of the tour yet. My favorite part of the entire show was seeing all the middle-aged women dance and sing along to them. They reminded me of how much my mom loves them, and made me smile. Their set ended with Tino crowd surfing, which was another highlight of my night.

The Hunna opened up for Barns Courtney, and to be quite honest, I had never heard of him until I saw his name on the bill. Standing in the photo pit before he came on, I did not know what to expect. When he came out on stage, the energy in the room shifted and exuded so much happiness. Barns’ stage presence is something you rarely see anymore. He was wild, carefree, and happy, all while jumping around. He reminded me of Catfish and the Bottlemen, mixed with Yungblud. I really enjoyed his music, and especially enjoyed his stage presence.

The Hunna did say that they will be back early next year, and that music will be released around the same time. In the meantime, you can listen to The Hunna here, and Barns Courtney here

Written by: McCaeley O’Rourke
Photos by: McCaeley O’Rourke

Catfish and the Bottlemen at the House of Blues

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen played at the House of Blues San Diego to a sold out crowd. But first…

Did you know that Catfish and the Bottlemen were originally called, “The Prestige?” The band started in April 2007, when Van and Billy started playing guitar together. They started playing shows all over Wales, opening up for their friends bands, as well as other gigs. The band had an early demo played on BBC Radio 6 Music in March 2009. They ended up changing their name to Catfish and the Bottlemen, which comes from Van McCann’s first childhood musical memory. This memory was watching a street busker in Australia who went by the same name. They continued to play gigs, and in 2013, they signed to Communion Music, and managed to release three singles. The next year, they signed to Island Records. On this record label, they released their debut album “The Balcony.” One single, “Kathleen,” ranked at number one on MTV’s hottest tracks in April 2014. Since the release of their first album, they have been constantly touring, playing festivals and shows all over the world.

Van McCann at the House of Blues on March 19, 2019.

The last time I had seen Catfish and the Bottlemen was in 2017, in Toronto, Canada, at the Rebel. They were still on tour for their second album “The Ride,” which has been described as, “just blistering, swashbuckling tunes.” The venue was humongous, and with a sold out crowd of 2,500 people, it was an insane show. It had been the first time I had seen them live and the performance was astonishing. I have been to way too many concerts to count, and that Catfish and the Bottlemen concert is still one of my favorites.

Flash forward to Catfish and the Bottlemen at the House of Blues…

This time, seeing Catfish and the Bottlemen was a whole new experience. It again was a sold out show, but this time at the House of Blues San Diego. With a capacity of only 250 people, it was destined to be a much more intimate show. The Worn Flints opened up the show, playing for about thirty minutes. Catfish and the Bottlemen went on at 9, and I got to shoot the show from the photo pit for the first three songs, which were “Longshot,” “Kathleen,” and “Soundcheck.” While I was in the photo pit, every time I would turn around and look at the crowd, I could see pure joy on everyone’s face. After shooting the first three songs, I went into the crowd and joined my friends. The atmosphere at the show was just pure bliss. Everyone was having such a good time, screaming the lyrics right back at the band.

They played a total of 17 songs, ending with “Tyrants.” The crowd and I also got to hear their new single, “2all,” for the first time ever live, along with other songs from their upcoming album. If you have not had the chance to see Catfish and the Bottlemen live, you are missing out on an extraordinary experience that is like no other.

Catfish and the Bottlemen is releasing a new album called “The Balance,” on April 26th, which they already have three songs out from the new album: Longshot, 2all, and Fluctuate. They have not released anything since 2016, their album “The Ride,” so this album has been much waited for. You can preorder their new album here!

Written by : McCaeley O’Rourke
Pictures by: McCaeley O’Rourke