Hunter & The Bear headline Patterns in Brighton on June 15 (7.30pm) on the back of a great response to their debut album which came out mid-May.
They launched into a run of Scottish gigs last month including shows in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Perth, Stirling, Ullapool and Stornoway as well as Shetland – followed now by a run of English dates in June.
Vocalist-guitarist Will Irvine said: “On the shows on the tour have blown us away how many people have been turning up to see us, and we sat in the iTunes rock charts at number eight. We never thought that would happen. But we have been non-stop for more than a year creating this album and developing the fanbase ready to receive it. It has been full on, so it feels really nice now to be able to get people to listen to the songs and to have a little bit of chart action!
“When you put that much time and effort into something, you are almost relieved to finally get it out and release the album. You feel that you have done the hardest part.”
Their debut album took inspiration from the likes of Biffy Clyro, Muse and Royal Blood.
From airtime on BBC, where their previous EP Wildfire had extensive plays, and national commercial radio to a slot supporting Eric Clapton on his recent arena tour, the band’s use of rock riffs and melodic songcraft has seen them championed by some of the biggest names in the business, including Clapton himself.
It has also seen them play some of the UK’s biggest and best festival including Reading and Leeds, T in the Park and Hard Rock Calling.
“We have been going as a four-piece since 2013,” Will says. “Before that, we were just a duo, myself and Jimmy. We didn’t really take it seriously to start with. We were playing gigs as a bit of fun and just kept getting invited back, and so we decided to start taking it a bit more seriously!
“We moved down to London as a duo, and we thought ‘Let’s try to get some gigs and suss out the competition’. We soon realised that if we wanted to compete properly, we needed to build the sound and the best way to do that was to add people. We needed a drummer and we needed a bass player, and when we got the boys in, on the first day it was like an awakening of the best. We realised that this was what it was all about, and that changed our writing as well.
“We are a rock band… a modern rock band, I suppose. Having come from that more stripped-back place, we put a huge onus on the song-writing and the story-telling within that. We maybe write from a different perspective from a lot of rock bands, but it is a rock-band sound.”
As for that name?
“The name came about after weeks and weeks of thinking of terrible names. We came up with this because Jimmy’s surname is Hunter, and when I was a wee boy, I used to be called The Bear for a number of reasons. I was a little chubster. I was as close to a bear as a human can get, and because we were a duo, we thought a name that was something plus something would be good. And then when the other boys came in, we decided to stick with it because we liked it.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make our website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page
3 Follow us on Twitter
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
Be part of it.