Boy & Bear all set for One Night Stand

David SalvaireGeraldton Guardian
Boy & Bear show no signs of slowing down after a stellar seven-year career.
Camera IconBoy & Bear show no signs of slowing down after a stellar seven-year career. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

The seven-year-itch can spell the end for many relationships, but that’s not a problem Sydney’s Boy & Bear have encountered.

The five-piece band have dominated the Australian music scene in a short time, showing no signs of slowing up ahead of their appearance in Geraldton for the Triple J One Night Stand.

In 2009 singer/songwriter Dave Hosking formed the group with Killian Gavin, brothers Tim and Jon Hart, and David Symes.

It was an explosive mix of musicianship and songwriting creativity that resulted in Boy & Bear putting out their debut album, Moonfire, in 2011.

That release garnered five ARIA awards and Boy & Bear became Australia’s pre-eminent rock act.

Since then, the quintet have established a relentless international touring roster, which could easily take its toll on the most seasoned performers.

Speaking from his Sydney home after returning from Europe, drummer Hart said the band had quickly grown wary of the temptations served up by life on the road.

“The key is not getting blind drunk every night — we learned that the hard way,” he said.

“It also helps if you get out and see the sights without overdoing it — oh, and sleep.

“Sleep is really important.”

Few bands have been able to capture the quintessential mood of a lazy urban Aussie afternoon like Boy & Bear.

The well-groomed folk-rock favourites have become masters of the art of churning out hummable, polished tunes drenched with layered harmonies.

That squeaky-clean sound has been described as overly safe by some critics, but Hart said the band’s sonic quality was merely the result of an intensely focused songwriting process.

“We put a lot of work into the songs and structural changes to make it sound like it flows,” he said.

“We’re big self-editors and we often cut anything that doesn’t add to the song.

“We definitely keep the process pretty controlled — we’ve never played a new song on the road before it’s been recorded.

“I suppose our sound is also a result of listening to our parents’ music and that’s why we headed in that direction.

“It’s not something we set out to achieve.”

For more than seven years, the Sydneysiders have been refining their live show, which Hart said remained an understated affair.

“I don’t think we’re too much of an intense live band because we tend to let the songs speak for themselves,” he said.

“I love playing live, it’s a lot of fun.

“I think it’s what we do best and it’s definitely something that we put a lot of work into.

“I see bands at festivals that are going nuts but that’s something we’ve never chased.”

Joining the group on the One Night Stand stage to bolster their already impressive vocal ensemble will be Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning.

The enigmatic performer is a fitting addition to Boy & Bear’s line-up given the countless comparisons oated between the two acts.

Hart said he could not reveal exactly what Fanning’s role in the show would be, but hinted at a tribute to the seasoned performer’s solo work.

“We’ve never worked with him before, but we’re all huge fans,” he said.

“We’ll probably be playing one of his songs and one of our songs, but we’ll see what happens.

“I can’t say anything else at this stage.”

While Boy & Bear have not made it to Geraldton before, they are aware of the good things on offer in the coastal town.

“I love lobster and a butt-load of wind, except when I’m playing golf, so it should be a blast,” Hart said.

“It’s really exciting, we’ve always done regional tours and we love checking out country Australia but we’ve never made it to Geraldton.”

Boy & Bear will join Urthboy, Sydney-based DJ Alison Wonderland and a other special guests when the One Night Stand comes to Wonthella Oval on Saturday, April 9.

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