Putting The 'Best' In 'Bestiality'
The last couple of years have seen the resurgence of a sound popularly classified as indie folk. No band has seen such rapid success as BOY & BEAR. In two short years the boys went from playing 'soul destroying' covers and working 9-to-5s to taking up support slots and playing shows both here and abroad. I spoke to Dave Hosking, front man of Boy & Bear, about song writing, hard work, unexpected success and hazy English nights partying with songstress Laura Marling.
After receiving radio play through triple j Unearthed for solo work, Dave Hosking teamed up with cover band mate Jake Tarasenko to record Mexican Mavis. Within a month of seeing further radio play, Boy & Bear took off. 2010 was a sink or swim year for the band, filling many support slots and touring extensively without any records actually released. "The band as a group had done around six shows together. In 2010 we ended up doing 120 shows. We had one song out when we hit the road… At the end of January we had less than a day off. We went to Byron Bay, did the EP, played with Angus and Julia Stone and then went back to the UK with Laura Marling… It was hard work but that year really payed dividends. Splendour 2010! It was a real ‘holy fuck’ moment."
While it is far too easy for upcoming bands to ride an early wave of success only to burn out and fall into mediocrity, Boy & Bear rely on their strong live show to keep the fans coming. "There are a lot of bands playing sort of pedestrian indie folk. It's one thing to get up and play guitar well and sing well. Doing those things really isn't enough. With live shows it's about those moments which blow your head off. People have to be shocked out. It's really important to surprise people and not just play through your songs. You have to bribe them with a journey." I asked Dave how he explains their success. "I think that it's really important that when it matters you have to pull out your big guns… In a period of about four months between triple j playing the song and the shows we were doing, we were starting to build a reputation as a good live band. That was just from working our arses off."
And what about those rock ‘n' roll nights throwing TVs through hotel windows with Laura Marling and her rowdy crew? "Laura is pretty disciplined! She had a couple of nights on the piss. Not so drunken rock and roll but when we were in Bristol everyone just got pissed in this beautiful pub. It was sort of this English haze of smoke over everything. People were smoking weed. It was a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll moment. They kept the pub open for us."
Boy & Bear are playing ANU Bar Friday June 1 with The Jungle Giants and Tin Sparrow. The show kicks off at 8pm and tickets are $41.05 + bf through Moshtix or Ticketek. O, the choice!