London’s folk- rock duo Bear’s Den, are currently touring their second album ‘Red Earth & Pouring Rain’. The duo is guitarist and vocalist Andrew Davie and guitarist Kevin Jones. The boys are no strangers to Manchester since touring the amazing debut ‘Islands’ in 2014 when they played Gorilla and the Ritz in 2015. The band have grown and matured and they are back to play The sold out Albert Hall which seems to be the perfect venue for the band to perform the new album to their Manchester fans.
There is a lovely aroma in the hall tonight with an excitable awaiting crowd, nicely warmed up by support act’s Patrick James and also Mathew and The Atlas. As an extended drum intro is played, there is a massive cheer as the boys arrive on stage. They open up with ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ which is also opening track on the album.
“Hey Manchester how you doing? So good to be back here. Its dream come true for us, to play in this beautiful venue”
Bear’s Den showcase their strong harmonies in tracks ‘greenwood Bethlehem’ and track ‘Isaac’ the eager crowd are clapping and singing along. We are eight tracks into the gig and Davies urges the hall to be silent. “We would like to play one banjo rather than two, unplugged if that’s ok? 1, 2, 3, 4…” They all unplug their instruments for track ‘Sophie’ I have never heard The Albert Hall so silent. The raw acoustic melodies have the crowd smiling and singing along.
“This is our last song” the crowd respond with a huge “Booooooo” Davie laughs and jokes with the crowd “There is no way we will go away and come back and play another song” They play foot stomping track and most favourite of the night so far ‘Above The Clouds of Pompeii’ the crowd are belting out chorus along with the beautiful vocals of Andrew Davie. Davie and Jones along with their band leave the stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen” as they return to the stage they introduce tonight’s band and play ‘Napoloeon’ followed by latest single ‘Dew On the Vine’ which sounds just as good live as it does record. “Ok Manchester we have two more songs left for you.”
Davie and Jones wander into the middle of the packed hall with one Banjo and perform ‘Gabriel’ The duo are surrounded by wowed dedicated fans who are quietly singing along to every word of the song. It’s a magical moment in tonight’s gig, it feels intimate and warm with the sounds of the Banjo echoing the walls.
They make their way back to the stage and finish on the beautiful ’Agape’ hit track from their earlier EP. They smashed through a great set list tonight, most of their new tracks with a few folk numbers from their first album. Bear’s Den have achieved so much with ‘Islands’ the second album is distinctly Bear’s Den but with a new electronic up beat feel to it. Bear’s Den are a humble pair and perform an all-round charming gig. If you want to catch them live, they have a European tour planned for 2017.
1.Red Earth and Pouring Rain
9.The Love We Stole
10.Love Cant Stand Alone
11.Roses On A Breeze
13.When You Break
15.Above The Clouds of Pompeii
17.Dew On the Vine