King Tut’s, October 8th
After support band Model Aeroplanes –like a Scottish 1975 – Eliza and the Bear opened with new single ‘Friends’, all jangly piano and euphoric chorus. In all honesty, the name “Eliza and the Bear” prepares for a ‘Cool Girl Lead Singer’ kind of outfit, like a twee Florence and the Machine, or a folkier Marina and the Diamonds. They are in fact all dudes (with beards). Despite the lack of an Eliza (or any bears) they won us over.
They are super-catchy, Of Monsters and Men style guitar pop. They’re about to record an album, and when it comes out we suspect it will get somewhere near number one. They’ve already supported Paramore, Imagine Dragons and Awolnation, and they’ll most certainly be heading the same way as those bands – they just need a few plays on Radio 1 and they’ll be on the main stage at V Festival. They are effortlessly catchy, fun, hopeful pop music and if that’s your thing, you will love them. They may be a little twee for some, or maybe too ~mainstream~, but they’re very good at what they do.
On their second-last song, ‘Light it Up’, the fire alarm went off, the gig was brought to a stop, and the crowd filed out rather grumpily onto the street. Whilst stood outside shivering with fire engines driving past, the band came out with acoustic guitars, climbed up onto a wall and finished their song with the crowd singing and clapping along (we didn’t know it but we picked it up quite fast – they are very catchy). We filed back in for their last song ‘It Gets Cold’ – they came on with “We’re Eliza and the Bear and we set off fire alarms” then played us out with another euphoric chorus with crashing drums.