Thursday's gig at O2 Academy Oxford was my my fifth time seeing Bear's Den (and fourth seeing Banfi) and both totally exceeded my expectations! The show had been long sold out and once the Banfi lads were announced as support I knew it was going to be an incredible evening of live music, and a perfectly timed night out to celebrate handing in my dissertation the day before! I am however a little gutted that (unless I can find some cheap Southampton accommodation) I can't make another date on the tour, as Seramic join the guys from Wednesday to make it an even dreamier line-up for the rest of the tour!
Kicking off the night with some appreciation to the Bear's Den guys for bringing them on tour and letting them play to these massive sold out crowds, Banfi took to the stage and absolutely smashed their set. Working their way through a bunch of new tracks I'd heard at a couple of their residency shows at The Old Blue Last they built up to their three singles, Where We Part, Happy When You Go and the latest, Rosedale House. It was lovely to meet the band properly after the show, they're a great bunch of guys and I really recommend you get along to their fourth and final residency gig on 26th April (free tickets here), and, as if that wasn't enough, they've just announced a UK tour for September - dates and tickets all on their website here.
The night was already pretty great and the Bear's Den guys managed to take it to another level, giving us a beautiful set full of tracks from both records, the stunning 2014 release Islands and last year's Red Earth & Pouring Rain, starting off the set with its title track. Unplugging their instruments and standing at the foot of the stage, they performed Her Tears, an older track I hadn't actually heard before (terrible fan - but it's always nice to discover new music live too!) and later in the set they came into the crowd to perform Bad Blood which was a pretty beautiful way to bring the evening to a close before bringing the house down with Agape. If you're new to the guys, here's a recent live music video for their track Greenwood's Bethlehem.
There's still a couple of weeks left of the band's UK tour, taking in Sheffield tomorrow night and finishing up in Southampton and London in the first week of April - be quick as the shows are likely to sell out, check the band's site here for the remaining tickets.