24th March 2017- Tramshed, Cardiff.
Having released their most recent album ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ back in 2016, fans have been anticipating a tour from folk- rock band, ‘Bears Den’ for some time. This finally happened with their European tour taking place throughout March and April, 2017. Their first show kicked off in the trendy arts venue ‘Tramshed’ in Cardiff…
The band formed back in 2012, and consists of two members, Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones. They have released two studio albums, the first being ‘Islands’ in 2014, and more recently ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ in 2016.
They may not be particularly ‘mainstream’ but their popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed; Bears Den have been nominated for awards such as Band of the Year at the UK Americana Awards and were picked up by the infamous Mumford and Sons to support them on their American tour.
So that’s the band, and now the gig; opening with ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ in honour of their latest album, the chilled tone of the show has been instantly set. Complimenting this, the enthusiasm of performing live buzzes through the sound waves of their distinct electric sound.
Following this they go onto play a mixture of old and new songs including ‘Greenwoods Bethlehem’ and ‘The Love We Stole’. The major highlight of the show comes when they ask for the crowd to be silent to allow them to play an entirely acoustic version of ‘Her Tears’.
This proves their authentic talent as they sound just as incredible when playing acoustic, which is arguably hard to come across in an age of auto tuning and ‘electric dance music’.
They repeat this again towards the end of the show however, this time they make their way into the crowd to perform an acoustic version of ‘Bad Blood’, this makes the show even more enjoyable as it feels as though they want to make a real effort to interact with the crowd and make this show one to remember.
Moving onto the venue…the show was held at the quirky new arts venue, in Cardiff: ‘Tramshed’. Opened in 2015, the venue holds a small capacity of one thousand people. As stated on their website, the venue aims to ‘host a range of gigs from various talents’.
The building holds cultural significance to the local community, with it being renovated from an old tram depot that is around one century in age. This makes the Tramshed a creative pin point for Cardiff as a creative city, as not only does the building have cultural significance but it has been used as a creative space to explore local and wider talents.
This type of refurbishment of abandoned buildings in Cardiff has a really positive impact on the society, as it allows for the creative industries to blossom, while also creating a friendlier place to live in for local residents.
This made for the perfect venue for Bear’s Den to perform in, as similar to the venue, they are a relatively new, up and coming talent, meaning in a smaller more intimate venue the atmosphere was far more enjoyable than it would have been if they were to play in a larger venue in the City.
Ultimately, I was impressed with the both the band as well as the venue, I would highly recommend visiting the Tramshed if you get a chance, and if you enjoy folk-rock music then listening to Bear’s Den wouldn’t go a miss either!