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LOUIS BLOOM SCORES HIS 11TH #1
6/7/16

Island Records Head of A&R Louis Bloom is celebrating his 11th U.K. #1 album with Brit band Catfish and the Bottlemen's The Ride, which hit the top spot last week on combined sales of 38k, despite being held from Spotify.

It's just over 13 years since Bloom had his first big success with Busted's self-titled debut, which reached #2 in September 2002. Since then, the hotshot exec has worked on 11 #1 albums from Mcfly, The Feeling, Mumford & Sons, Ben Howard, Keane, John Newman and Mika, as well as his latest feat. 

Catfish's debut, The Balcony, released via indie Communion Records, peaked at #10 on the U.K. chart in 2014. Bloom was the man who signed the band to Darcus Beese's UMG U.K. imprint later that year, and has been working closely with Marcus Russell and Alec McKinlay at Ignition Management to develop the project since. Time and patience has been a big part of the strategy from the get-go, he said.

“Catfish have great instincts and have always done things the right way,” Bloom told us. “Alongside Marcus and Alec at Ignition, we have supported those instincts by taking a long-term approach, encouraging the band to build a real and lasting fan base. It’s never been about gimmicks, quick fixes or pushing them too hard towards media. It’s about people naturally making the connection.

“This takes time and patience, but in the end hopefully reaps bigger rewards and signals that Catfish are embarking on an incredible journey with a huge career ahead of them. We see them, as indeed they see themselves, as a classic band who need to compete with the greats. That’s the ambition.”

Constant gigging and developing direct fan relationships through social media has built a solid foundation that doesn't need to be supported by smash singles, said Bloom: “It was never about just one hit song that dominates radio. BBC Radio 1 in particular have always been incredibly supportive but they knew it was about the album and the whole Catfish experience rather than a top ten single. That helped build the diehard Catfish fan-base and led to the huge anticipation for the follow up.”

The Ride was produced by Dave Sardy. Marketing is helmed by Sam Flynn and Natasha Mann at Island, with Brad Hunner and Ross Forrest at Radar Plugging looking after radio. The project’s regional radio people are Will Puxley (Island) and Alan Smith (Tuned In Media) and press is Barbara “BC” Charone at MBC.

“To get a #1 album is such an incredible achievement,” added Bloom. “Island’s philosophy has always been about artist empowerment, and working with Catfish, a band with a unique and sure vision, has been a real joy. They deserve all the success they have achieved, and the great thing is, this is only the beginning.”