Cup Eve saw Boy & Bear grace The Forum for a third and final sold-out show on their Melbourne visit as part of their 16 Days Under A Southern Sun tour. The boys are out on the road bringing their new album Harlequin Dream to life and were due to play two shows in Melbourne but added a third due to the overwhelming demand for more B&B.

The night kicked off with a soulful set from up-and-comer Dustin Tebbutt who performed some inspiring rolling guitar pieces, coupled beautifully with his gorgeous voice and often melancholy harmony. This guy is one to watch as the chilled vibes and indie folk-pop funk was a pure and simple pleasure to experience. To answer your sweetly sorrowful The Breach query, “did I show you love?” Yes Dustin, you absolutely did.

Battleships followed this up with their fast-paced and charming set, performing like total rock stars. The band played their new single Take Your Rest with a smooth, artistic and addictive pizazz that seems to be creating waves and gaining traction out there in the big wide world. It seemed like the guys were having a lot of fun up there and this was reflected by the growing foot-tapping atmosphere under the faux star-studded skies of The Forum. Lead singer Jordan Sturdee’s high and smooth voice left the whole crowd wanting more as the band capped off their performance with a rousing rendition of ‘In Retrospect’.

With all the cushy Forum booths long since occupied and the standing area tightly packed, all concert-goers were growing in anticipation for the Boy and Bear guys to take the stage. Under the watchful eye of the theatre’s Greco-Roman statues and the fittingly romantic twinkling sky-blue sky, the B&B boys delivered nothing short of a delightfully vibrant yet totally soulful performance that left a delicious taste in your mouth.

Stand out moments of the night included the stunning sax solo in ‘Harlequin Dream’ that got a rousing applause from the crowd, the swelling roar of the crowd upon hearing the intro to ‘Three Headed Woman’, and the climatic rendition of the ever-popular ‘Feeding Line’. New single ‘Southern Sun’ was an absolute pleasure to hear live and kept the appreciative audience dancing and singing along.

The guys were generous with the praise delivered to fans, thanking them for “keeping the dream alive” for the band. No Dave, Killan, Gavin, Tim, Jon and Dave, thank you for the melt-in-your-mouth live performance that was dynamic, full of energy and punctuated with endearing crowd-interaction.

In a town known for its vibrant and legendary live music scene, Dave Hosking and the boys were totally at home with their epic 90 minutes of classy indie folk rock tunes, savoured by the hugely appreciative and swooning crowd. This band brings together intelligent minds, no pretence, and totally unadulterated melodies, the musical product of which was a treat for all present. Dedicated fans swayed to every blissful beat, listening intently to the fusion of folk guitars and indie rock harmonies. A night full of passionate energy, sincere sounds and really really good vibes, this tour will naturally ensure Boy and Bear galvanise their place on Australia’s indie-rock scene, as if they hadn’t already.

Merren McLean


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