The London based alt-folk trio soar through their debut album and more, filling the night with heartfelt melodies and catchy instrumentals.
In October 2014, after a successful two years of EP releases and touring with the likes of Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Daughter & Ben Howard, Bear’s Den released their debut album ‘Islands’. With such absorbingly intimate tracks such as ‘Above The Clouds Of Pompeii’ & ‘Elysium’, the band embark on their first UK tour since their inaugural record.
The venue: Voodoo Belfast, a somewhat small venue for band who could be selling out The Limelight or Mandela Hall. The night opens with fellow London based artist Rukhsana Merise, who accompanied with simply a guitarist, allows her powerful vocals to silence the crowd.
Then arrives Bear’s Den. With their banjos, trumpets and glorious facial hair they open with lead single ‘Elysium’, which provides a gentle guitar under lead singer Andrew Davie’s vocals, before erupting into a horn filled atmospheric thrill. The band work their way through the rest of ‘Islands’, playing personal favourite ‘Above The Clouds Of Pompeii’ surprisingly early in the evening while tracks like ‘When You Break’ & ‘Mother’ bring us some intense instrumental solos worthy of a rock show.
However things start to get interesting halfway through the night, as they asks the crowd if they can try something new. As Davie takes on Banjo duties, they turn off the microphones and the crowd falls silent as they acoustically play hit song ‘Sophie’. This unusual performance technique is showed up however by the bands encore, moving off the stage to the centre of the crowd, the band stand in a circle, grasping the attention of the entire room as they play ‘Islands’ final track ‘Bad Blood’.
The band finishes with the powerful ‘Sahara’, leaving the audience in a state of awe, wanting more even as Davie says, “I don’t think we have any songs left!”. The future seems bright for this young alt-folk group, with their uplifting harmonies and powerful song writing you can be sure to see them stunning the festival circuit come summer.
Before the gig I got a chance to talk with Bears Den Frontman Andrew Davie about their touring history and influences, listen to the interview below.
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