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Hunter and the Bear, King Tuts Glasgow


Hunter and the Bear, King Tuts Glasgow

It is a rare thing that I am recommended a band I have never even heard the name of. How I have missed this incredible band I have no idea but tonight I rectify this folly.

King Tuts is packed out tonight, anyone with claustrophobia would not have made it through standing in line in the bar area to get in. This gig sold out in four hours which again has me wondering where the hell have I been and it also begs the question why Tuts? As a venue it is a shadow of itself from the 90s. Yes it is intimate, it is seriously hot and sweaty but other venues in this city have left it behind.

For me tonight is about witnessing a band who I had only listened to prior to the gig and as sometimes happens I wanted to leave all the polish of an album behind and see what the boys were like live as it is always the best way to measure a band.

The lights went down, Audioslave burst out of the PA and the dried ice crawled across the stage. The roar to accompany the band taking to the stage was huge and the band delved into “Skin Tight”. A more indie based track and I wonder if this is why the band has fallen off my radar but with that one track the band had won me over. I would also say this song title perfectly reflects the band as they were so tight musically.

Next up is a pure rocker in “Who’s Gonna Hear You” and this is where the Glasgow choir come to the fore as they scream their lungs out. This song has a spine of pure Queen with a whole host of other influences wrapped up in one hell of a song with some beautiful guitar pieces. This is a song that screams for an arena stage if I ever heard one.

This is followed up quickly with “D.R.K” and boy will this rock your world, this leans heavily on the intro tape tonight. At this stage I am well and truly gobsmacked and I make a mental note to never miss a gig in this city again.

The show went on and just cemented every tingle that ran through my body until the moment “I Am What I Am”. This was the song that tipped me to coming here tonight. What I was not expecting was how every single person in that audience sang every word, so much so that you could not even hear Will sing. It also showed exactly why the band confirmed Glasgow to be their favourite place to play…and if you heard you would know why. This is a stunningly beautiful song and there is a folk feel that runs through this band when onstage. It is not something that you initially pick up on when listening to their recordings but it drips from those speakers and this will be another reason they can sell out in 4 hours.

Glasgow is always one of the first to hear new single “ Charlotte Street” which to me was a cross between Idlewild and some of Mike Tramps acoustic work. It works like a dream live…and lets face it, throw in some swear words and a Scottish audience are happy.

On the tail end of the show the highlights are “Domino” and “ Paper Heart”. The title track is something special live, the lyrics, the emotion, the little Big Country guitar and that huge chorus sound that this band manages with ease.

The other downside of King Tuts is the late finish. Myself and a good few others had to leave early to get trains but I am delighted the band are back in the Garage in October and by tonight’s performance that should sell out too. I see huge things for Hunter and the Bear. I was blown away tonight and as if I could not get any happier I left with a vinyl copy of Paper Heart under my arm.

If you have not heard of this band check them out now, you too will be seriously impressed with both recorded material and even more so by their live performance. This is a band to break through to the next level. I had the same feeling the first time I saw The Temperance Movement in a small venue in Glasgow and they now sell out the Barras.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie

Hunter And The Bear, King Tuts Glasgow

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