REVIEW: Bear’s Den at O2 Apollo

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ENERGETIC alternative-pop Londoners Banfi graced the stage first at the O2 Apollo in Manchester opening for Bear’s Den, in what was the biggest venue they had ever played.

Opening for their Communion Records label-mates, a host of dedicated fans got in early to see the band whose ability and ambition make them one of the most exciting emerging talents from the capital.

Despite only forming a year ago, the group professionally performed a set full of vibrant melodies and cheeky guitar licks. Opening with “Answers” and “She Comes Home” the indie rockers quickly showed off the prowess to fill a stage and grab the crowd on every playful melody. The clean cut trio showcased their debut track “Happy When You Go.” The song is a mix and match of staccato guitar, flowing accompaniment and ethereal vocals that have galvanized this genre-melding lazy-day anthem to over 500,000 streams on Spotify.

With exquisite and catchy songs from “Where We Part” and “Future” it felt like the middle of summer – not a dreary March evening in Manchester.

Finishing with their wondrous new single “Rosedale House” which brought in sprawling guitars lines and addictive choruses to compile a readymade summer festival anthem. The track too has gained over half a million streams online and was “record of the week” on Edith Bowman’s Virgin Radio show. A real “drive-with-the-car-top-down-through-a-country-lane” summer classic.

Banfi’s sound attracts the fans of fellow left-field pop acts such as Alt-J but also hold influences in The Police and fellow summery indie rockers, Foals.

Banfi have also recently announced a UK headline tour for September playing across the country with tickets now on sale. The lads remain on tour with Bear’s Den across the UK and Europe for the next fortnight including a night at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. They have already announced a number of festival appearances too with them returning to London’s Citadel for a second year, Truck Fest and Y NOT in June and covering the multi-city festival Dot To Dot in May.

Bear’s Den triumphantly played their set to a then packed house with the dainty folky classics off their debut album “Islands” and their 2016 release “Red Earth & Pouring Rain.”

Both members of the two piece, Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones, were on fine form as they blasted their way through a set that included tunes written with a third, now absent member and managed to make them shine regardless.

Bear’s Den manage to drive forward a new sound yet pay tribute to British acts gone by in a totally unique and fascinating way that captures the sold out audience’s imagination from front till back.

Tonight proved that there is still a lot of talent in the UK indie scene and a lot of it seems to be residing on Communion Records as it progresses to become one of the most dominant UK labels.

Checkout Banfi’s video to Rosedale House here.

70%
70%
Thrilling
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