I was really excited for Wednesday night. We made our way into Shepherds Bush for a bite to eat at Ping Pong before we headed to the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire to watch Bear’s Den perform. I’ve seen them play a handful of times before and they are bloody brilliant. Sure, the Empire wasn’t as intimate as the Camden gig, but I was looking forward to hear some of their new music.
If you’ve not heard Bears Den before, they describe themselves as a ‘British Folk Rock Band’, although some of their newer music has a slightly more electronic edge. They are brilliant, I love their music, and their gigs are great. There’s a really nice vibe to it all, it’s very relaxed – the ‘rock’ is relatively soft, you leave their gigs feeling uplifted, rather than shouted at.
One of the highlights to a Bears Den gig is when they cut the microphones, turn off the amps and perform a song completely acoustically. The whole venue goes completely silent, even in a vast space like the Empire, their song fills the space. The audience slowly and tentatively starts to sing-along as the song echoes around the auditorium. It’s really raw and magical hearing music performed like this – it’s a real highlight of their set.
Bears Den performed a cracking set, a handful of new songs intertwined with the classics. It was all going so well..
As we all applauded and cheered for the encore, it happened.
There was a loud bang on my head. Followed by an explosion of liquid that soaked me, and the people behind and in-front of me. Some bellend had dropped a full pint of some kind of stouty based beverage from the balcony above.
As Bears Den came out to perform their encore, I was mopping off beer from my extremities. One of the Ushers helpfully gave us some paper-towels and reported the incident to Security. I was really cross. It literally put a dampener on the encore. You kind of accept you might get covered in a pint at a summer festival, not so much at a Bears Den gig. I hope whoever did it stands on some Lego, and perhaps an upturned plug.
Thankfully my grump was lifted by Bears Den coming into the audience to perform ‘Blankets Of Sorrow’ completely unplugged. It’s one of those things the really gives you chills. I was kinda gutted that we weren’t down in the ground floor – but ya know, I also like a nice seat. Plus you got a great view of it all from above. It was hard to ignore the stout dripping down my back as they played, but it certainly turned my grump into a light simmer.
Here’s a little bit of it –
It was the last night of Bears Den’s tour, but if you ever get the chance to see them live – take it. They are nothing short of magnificent. You can grab their back catalogue on Amazon too.