LIVE REVIEW: Boy & Bear at Fremantle Prison
Boy & Bear took to the stage of Fremantle Prison Sunday night, proving why us West Aussies just can’t get enough of them.
Joining them to commence the night was all female folk quartet, All My Exes Live in Texas. Delivering all the charm and charisma possibly required for a night out at a prison, the Sydney women provided the crowd with all the warmth we needed.
Starting exactly on time, the five-piece indie rock-pop maestros opened with album name sake “Limit of Love”. For the band’s third album they truly stuck to what they knew, relying on front man Killan Gavin’s wonderful tone to provide the goods. However, during their Fremantle show, it was the instruments and their human players who really shone. With Guitarist David Hosking, bassist David Symes, drummer Tim Hart and a wonderful turn from Jonathan Hart on the keyboard, the band epitomised what makes a great live show; people who can play their instruments.
The night changed from what felt like an intimate garden party to an almost heavy guitar filled set. However, the change in tone did not affect the night overall, but completely flowed with the complexity and rich history of the venue. The Fremantle prison isn’t just a prison nor is it just a historical sight, and the band’s multi-dimensional performance really exuberated that. However, it wasn’t just he venue that made the night so special. A sense of gratitude was felt throughout with front man Gavin humoursly explaining the importance of their regional tours. With a tribute to Australian farmers who are facing tough times, the band self-promoted their charity beer, with the always imaginative name “boy&Beer”.
Arguably their most mature album to date, the night celebrated the band’s third album, Limit of Love, in all of its glory. Playing almost every song on the track list, the almost 90-minute show was a glorious showcase of how far the band has come over the 7 years since they first landed on our western shores. However, the band remain as humble as ever, doing what true music should really do. No gimmicks, no lengthy and obnoxious but solos but just five men from Sydney, playing their instruments as best as they know how.
Front man killan Gavin’s voice was arguably the best it has ever sounded, with a mature groan that complimented the grown up vibe that was felt from David Hosking’s impeccable guitar performance. The songs flowed from one to the other with the occasional conversation from Gavin. It wasn’t the most ‘chatty’ gig there is, but it didn’t need to be. Boy&Bear are known for their simple and understated performances that showcase their musical talents. By not changing this formula and simply sticking to what they know, the audience was pleasantly delighted.
With their “no encores” rule, almost 90 minutes in, we were reminded that the last 3 songs were coming up. Playing their most known hits, the audience swayed and reflected on just what a lovely night it had been. It may have been the venue or the clear December weather, but without the cheerful chemistry between the band and their audience, Sunday night would not have been what it was. Boy&Bear have once again delivered what they are known for; nothing less, nothing more, just a simple band playing lovely folk rock tunes that will warm anyone’s heart. Bravo!