REVIEW – HUNTER AND THE BEAR
Hunter and The Bear / Hobgoblin Unsung Heroes Tour @ Trillians, Newcastle 03/05/2017
With just over a week to go before the release of their debut album, Paper Heart, Hunter and The Bear headed north to play a secret show as part of Hobgoblin’s Unsung Heroes Tour.
The last six months has seen their stock rise rapidly, with widespread praise coming from virtually every music outlet, including a 10/10 review from RUSHONROCK for Paper Heart.
Attracting a full house for a secret show in Trillians on a Wednesday night was always going to be a tall order for the four piece, but they pulled in a respectable crowd and wasted no time getting started with You Can Talk.
As a tightly packed venue, amped to the ceiling, the sound in Trillians can be hit and miss, with singers regularly having to battle their fellow musicians to be heard. This issue once again arose last night, with Jimmy Hunter’s guitar threatening to overpower the vocals, but in the end, it was a battle won by Will Irvine as he delivered a stellar vocal performance.
Despite the battle to be heard, Hunter and The Bear look like a band that simply love playing together. Every arrangement is sharply honed, with Jimmy Hunter bringing a level of flair to their stage presence, with his effortless axe work and the ability to work even the smallest of stage spaces.
Paper Heart has been five years in the making, and as Hunter and The Bear rolled through Paper Heart’s big hitters Hologram, Who’s Gonna Hear You, D.R.K. and Renegade, it became clear, these guys are more than ready to live up to their billing and become one of the best live acts on the planet.
Although Paper Heart was the focus of the set, there was still time for a few from the band’s 2014 and 15 Eps, with Oh Daisy and Burn It Up gaining a great response from the audience, as Will’s raspy vocals led the charge, while Gareth Thompson’s youthful exuberance delivered an innocent sense of fun to their highly polished set.
As the set rolled to an end, the guys produced the song of the night, and one of the true standouts from an album chock-a-block with rock anthems – You Won’t Ever Come Home. With a slow build up, soft vocals and sizzling symbols leading to an anthemic, arena worthy chorus, intertwined with the cries of the lower strings of Jimmy’s guitar; You Won’t Ever Come Home perfectly sums up the classy songwriting skills of this incredibly talented quartet.
With cries for an encore, the guys very quickly picked up their instruments, and wrapped up the set the same way as they wrap up Paper Heart, with NikaJack – a perfect way to finish off a well thought out set.
Hunter and The Bear hit the road next month for their full U.K. tour, playing some of the country’s best, intimate venues, and this is one tour fans should not miss – at this rate, you may not get another chance to see these unsung heroes in such an up close and personal capacity.