CURRENTLY making their way through a full UK and European tour, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Jones of Bear’s Den spoke to Quays News entertainment reporter Hollie Rees about inspirations, new sounds and upcoming performances.
Bearded London trio, Bear’s Den, gifted listeners with a refreshing collection of lyrical masterpieces after they first formed back in 2012.
Their debut album, ‘Islands’, which was released two years after the band first began, combined traditional folk melodies with contemporary themes.
Third song on the album, ‘Above the Clouds of Pompeii’ earned them an impressive nomination for the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically in 2015.
Following the departure of guitarist, Joey Haynes earlier this year, Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones led the band in a slightly different direction with release of second album, ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’.
“It was quite a natural progression. We wanted to make an album that was a bit more cinematic and more nostalgic sounding.
A lot of the sounds are synthesizer sounds and electric guitars. It just made sense to us,” Jones explained.
Despite remaining friends with Haynes, it took the duo some time to adjust at first.
However, they now make up one third of a six-piece when performing live, which Jones says is “really fun to be a part of.”
Bear’s Den are signed to Communion, the label founded by Jones himself, along with Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons and producer Ian Grimble.
With the intention to create a creative, collaborative and respectful environment in an unfriendly London live music scene, those behind Communion recently celebrated it’s tenth birthday.
— Communion Music (@CommunionMusic) June 29, 2016
Jones said, “It was a really fun party and there were lots of cool people in one room.”
Others signed to the label include Catfish and the Bottlemen, Ben Howard and Daughter.
Jones explained that due to this collaborative vision, Bear’s Den are usually influenced and inspired by friends within the music industry.
“We were very lucky early on to tour with and support a lot of great bands, like Daughter and Matt Corby.
“You watch those shows every night and you learn a lot from watching them play,” he added.
After performing to crowds at big festivals such as Latitude and Glastonbury this summer, Jones explained that both large and smaller, intimate crowds come with different challenges.
@RadioX Saw Bears Den at Glastonbury bloomin fantastic !
— Bryn Chapman (@bryndaniel) July 26, 2016
“It’s great to play to a small room and connect with each person but it’s also really exciting to play big stages,” he explained.
Admitting that his favourite song to perform live often changes, his current favourite is ‘Greenwoods Bethlehem’ as it’s “dynamic and has lots of energy”, so that’s definitely a song that fans can expect to see live.
With their UK tour starting in Birmingham next month and including a date at Manchester’s Albert Hall, Jones assured me that fans can also expect “lots of beards and lots of guys” on stage.
What’s not to enjoy?
By Hollie Rees