Eliza And The Bear, Into The Ark & Rocky NTI @ The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent – Feb 5th 2016
The first support act for Eliza And The Bear was the Welsh duo Into The Ark, their fresh take on the Indie Folk was a surprisingly uplifting as they added a slight Country twist to the genre. Their passion and enjoyment of their own music made them an enjoyable experience that had many watchers swaying to their set. Definitely worth a look if you’re need something to wind down to at the end of a long day without falling asleep. (7/10)
Up next was Rocky Nti who, by all appearances, had to be the most surprising act I’ve ever seen. Going into the show, knowing the kind of music Eliza And The Bear play and having just seen Into The Ark, the last think expected was the quintessential combination of Brit Punk Rock that was reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs. His thick London accent adding to the power behind the guitars and drums, his EP Ride On is must have if you’re looking for a new movement of late 90s/early 00s Punk Rock revival. (8/10)
Finally the main act, Eliza And The Bear came out to a roaring crowd pumped up from the support and started out pretty tame with some instrumental before kicking in to a new track called ‘Lion’s Heart’ which is a perfect way to start their show. Their strong vocals carry a slightly strained sound to them which really puts in the effort this band has when they perform. Without stopping they switched into ‘Light It Up’ a pretty popular one of theirs as the crowd has instantly singing along and jumping about to the guitar riffs and drum beats.
After a quick break between songs to formally introduce themselves and thank their fans for being there, which was met with raucous applause, they went into the majority of their set performing songs from their upcoming self-titled debut album. Previewing tracks like ‘Talk’, ‘Make It On My Own’, and ‘Oxygen’ left concert goers pining for the album even more as they sprinkled classics such as ‘Brother’s Boat’ and ‘Upon The North’.
The gig came to a close with their two biggest hits ‘Friends’ followed by the ever popular ‘It Gets Cold’ two tracks that bring a burning pain to the voice box as you try to match the sheer volume of front man James Kellegher. They have that classic sound that can’t be tamed by headphones, and even if you had to contain their noise with them you’ll helplessly feel the need to sing along no matter where you are. Look out for their album set to be released April 7th, but if you can’t wait till then check out their latest EP Make It On My Own. (8/10)
Eliza And The Bear:
Into The Ark:
Author: Pierce Brosnan