They’ve just wrapped up a June headline tour to support their new album, now Hunter & The Bear have some time to reflect on their last few shows with us. We spoke with Will from the four-piece indie rockers to get the highs and lows of touring!
Best show you’ve ever played?
I think it has to be one of the shows from the debut album UK Tour that we’ve just finished. It feels like we’ve taken a big step up in our live sound on this run and it’s awesome that we sold out pretty much every city! If you’re making me choose a stand out gig it’ll have to be the Glasgow show. It was the day after the album had dropped and we were so buzzing that we’d reached number 7 in the rock chart. The crowd were electric and the energy passing between us was insane. Won’t forget that one in a hurry.
Most interesting venue?
We played on top of a mountain in Bulgaria once. Our gear had to be lugged up the hill by donkeys. Wild.
Most energetic crowd?
That award goes to Reading & Leeds Festival. We had a pretty early slot on the Festival Republic Stage and we were a bit worried that people might not show up as it was the start of the day. We rammed the tent on both days and the crowds went absolutely mental for it. It makes it easy to play well when you’re getting that much back from out front. We’ll be back there soon with a bit of luck.
Weirdest thing to happen to you on stage?
Back when we were just starting out we played a birthday party down on the south coast. It was pretty badly attended which made the whole affair a little awkward. We got stuck into our set like we always do holding nothing back and really going for it even though there was a grand total of 25 people in the room. I suddenly realised that there was a lady at the front who was refusing to avert her gaze from my eyes. I tried to stare her out but I was no match for her. Next thing I know she comes straight up to my microphone stand and starts using it like a stripper pole (facing the crowd) which made it pretty impossible to sing. She then proceeded to turn to face me and perform what I can only describe as ‘a series of sexual acts’ on the end of the mic stand whilst continuing to stare me out. The other boys were obviously loving this and killing themselves laughing while I mumbled my way through the set with my eyes half shut praying she wouldn’t get bored of the mic stand and move onto something else. We don’t do birthdays anymore.
Biggest mistake on stage?
We were supporting Eric Clapton at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. When the lights came up and we went to start our set, Clarky realised that his bass wasn’t plugged into his amp. Smooth! Looking over at him I saw the face of pure terror that you never want to see from someone in your band. To be fair to him, he handled it like a boss and was plugged in and chugging away by the first chorus. What a guy. That’s the kind of mistake you want to make when you’re playing to 5 people back in your local pub. Clarky decided to wait until we were touring with big Eric. Nice one bro.
Biggest win on stage?
We played Manchester on our UK Tour a week or so ago. During soundcheck we realised that the bar was only a lunge/jump away from the edge of the stage. As it was Clarky’s side, we bet him a pint that he wouldn’t have the balls to jump over there and do his bass solo on the bar. I announced his bass solo mid-set and then looked down at my guitar to give it a quick tune before the next song. When I looked up, Clarky was walking down the bar (people’s drinks and phones flying everywhere) shredding one of the best bass solos I’ve ever seen. Massive win.
Favourite song to play?
It changes all the time but currently it’s ‘Nickajack’ from our debut album ‘Paper Heart’. It starts small and gets MASSIVE so it’s a real journey to play. I love creating that intense atmosphere too. You can really feel it in the room.
Least favourite song to play?
Favourite part about playing live?
I love everything about playing live. We always make a conscious effort to break down the wall between band and audience. That’s a pretty special feeling. The exchange in energy is unreal and totally addictive.
Favourite location to play?
You can’t beat a homecoming gig for me so it’s got to be Highlands of Scotland.