Eliza and the Bear – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow – 08/10/14

eliza-and-the-bear-king-tuts-glasgow-october-2014Judging by the crowd in King Tuts tonight Eliza and the Bear already have quite the fan base.

For a band who have released a handful of singles and nothing else, that’s an impressive feat. The (mostly female) audience knew all the words, hollered, and squealed their way through opening ’Friends’ which sounded kinda brilliant live.

You know this song, course you do. It’s an advert for Bulmers cider. In fact it’s such a popular and important song in their short career I’m impressed that the band decide to open with it. It would have been so easy to end the set this way instead.

First impressions of the band is that they look like a motley crew of individuals, who somehow don’t quite fit visually, but there is nothing thrown together in the sound of this six-piece.

They are accomplished from the outset. It is obvious as you watch the band work through their set just how good they are. I also love the fact the have a trumpeter on stage; so many would opt for a synthesiser instead. It is such a detail that makes them stand out.

To these ears most of the songs were new, they’ve had three singles and over the main set I recognised two songs, but was engrossed and enjoyed everything I heard. Each new song had a hook and power to it which kept me connected.

Just as we were enjoying the last song of the main set the fire alarm went off. The houselights came on and we evacuated the building via the stage. Once outside, guitarist Martin Dukelow who had grabbed one of his acoustic guitars and gathered the 200-strong crowd opposite the venue. It is here we were treated to an acoustic singalong to first encore ’Light It Up’ (oh the irony) as fire engines arrived and we were bathed in flashing blue lights.

The humour and interaction of the band just added to the feeling of the night and was very much icing on an already enjoyable cake. As the band waved the fire engines away, we all got back in to Tuts and headed once again upstairs.

The last song was a rousing version of ’It Gets Cold’ which was a joy to watch. It’ was so good I’m glad they came on with ’Friends’ an hour earlier, as this is a far better closing track. The vocal harmonies, musicianship, and song-writing ability of this band deserves to be noticed. And if the already installed fan-base in Tuts is anything to go by, Eliza and the Bear are well on their way!

Gareth Fraser
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