Bears With Guns
Gig Seeker Pro

Bears With Guns

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Folk Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


“boldly expansive folk-rock EP as unselfconscious as it is solid… 4 ½ stars” – Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney Morning Herald


RIOT FEATURE ARTIST Bears With Guns @ The Grace Darling

Quite possibly the strangest gig I’ve attended in some time, Bears With Guns’ Melbourne show of their national tour was both relaxed and hilarious- suiting their style to a tee. Walking up the Grace Darling stairs to a room of people lounging on the carpeted floor was a welcome change to the full-on crowds most of us are used to.

Opening the show was they utterly comical Joe Oppenheimer and his band. Equal parts comedy act and high-quality folk music (with some awful dancing thrown in for good measure). Breaking into an impromptu rendition of ‘spring a cover on your drummer’ as a way to let his drummer know what he had planned, but not giving him any more detail until moving into a Hank Williams cover was a highlight of the top notch set.

Next were the very suitable Oliver’s Army. The five-piece crammed onto the tiny stage, and let’s not fail to mention the double bass drawing eyes. Playing an interesting mix of folk/skiffle/rockabilly, they very clearly had a strong connection on stage, and worked really well together. Lead singer Ryan Oliver’s voice is somewhat reminiscent of Lior, and the group even pulled off a Radiohead cover, much to the crowd’s pleasure.

Still lounging around the bandroom, the crowd then turned its collective attention to headliners Bears With Guns. The stage littered with an interesting variety of instruments, the five-piece began. While all are versatile musicians, jumping from instrument to instrument, it must be noted that drummer Gus had to tape all of his knuckles in order to get through the set on his various percussive instruments.

‘Taken For A Fool’ (a true highlight of recent EP Only The Quick And The Hungry) was truly stunning. Definitely a piece that benefits from the live arena, they layering and growth throughout the piece was enhanced tenfold.

Spending much time in between songs either bantering with members of the support acts, or telling amusing stories of nearly getting hit by trams (trust me, it was in the delivery), they were down to earth and relaxed, but musically spot on.

Despite so much happening on stage, eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to keys player Lochie’s face- entertaining to say the least. Playing all six tracks from their newest EP, as well as a few from their first release Taken For A Fool, the guys closed with ‘Metaphysics’ to more than polite applause.

As lead singer Rob thanked the crowd and they began to pack up their many instrument, the audience demanded one more song, so the band obliged. Playing the popular ‘Berlin’, the whole room stood up and began dancing, which only made the band’s faces light up further.
There could be no better way to have finished the set. - Casual Band Blogger


Live: Bears With Guns @ the Grace Darling – 29/08/13

Submitted by jessb on Fri, 06/09/2013 - 19:47

The Grace Darling’s band room is always so warm and inviting, and the whole feel is intimate with its small stage, carpeted floors and candlelight. Thus, it was a perfect venue to host Sydney quintet Bears With Guns, who are currently on tour launching their latest EP Only the quick and the Hungry.

When I first listened to the band’s music I was relieved to hear a fresh new take on folk; not what you would expect to hear on the radio, and certainly with a lot more soul. The crowd on the night was small, and mostly sitting on the floor, immediately making the whole experience more comfortable.

To open the night, Joe Oppenheimer and his band took the stage and welcomed us with an unexpectedly humorous set. With his eccentric Banhart-esque performance, he almost stole my heart away. I found myself smiling from ear to ear, and wowed by a natural musical talent. Not everyone can make a stage their home, but Oppenheimer was the ultimate in cool, working his way through a set filled with roots and blues, beautiful vocals, and great musicianship.

Next was the country/indie troupe Oliver’s Army. Fusing an array of different genres together, the group managed to create quite a powerful force on the tiny little stage they were all squished onto. Despite this, Ryan Oliver’s vocals were endearing, the layering of sound was captivating, and the band managed to change the pace of the set with every song.

After two amazing supports, last to make their way on stage were headliners Bears With Guns. With their young fresh faces, they could’ve fooled me into thinking this was their first slew of real shows, but there was an immediate maturity that came through when they began their set. Musically they were on point, every sound was clear and their performance was sharp. There was a great display of unique instrument knowledge with ukuleles and African drums being used throughout. The vocals delivered by singer Robert Saunders, were emotional and powerful, but had the necessary delicate moments. There was also a great display of enthusiasm from the entire band, with some guitar and drum solos thrown in for good measure. Particularly enthralling was drummer Angus Taylor, who seemed to have a never-ending supply of energy, seamlessly switching from one type of drum to the next.

Highlights of the night included hearing “Wandering Soldier”, a track off the new EP, and a few oldies in “Berlin” and “Enter Rapture”.
After such a great performance, this would have to be one of the best gigs I have recently been to. The boys proved just how much local talent we have. I look forward to seeing Bears With Guns when they come back to us all in the (hopefully) near future.

By Radhika Chopra
- SYN


Live: Bears With Guns @ the Grace Darling – 29/08/13

Submitted by jessb on Fri, 06/09/2013 - 19:47

The Grace Darling’s band room is always so warm and inviting, and the whole feel is intimate with its small stage, carpeted floors and candlelight. Thus, it was a perfect venue to host Sydney quintet Bears With Guns, who are currently on tour launching their latest EP Only the quick and the Hungry.

When I first listened to the band’s music I was relieved to hear a fresh new take on folk; not what you would expect to hear on the radio, and certainly with a lot more soul. The crowd on the night was small, and mostly sitting on the floor, immediately making the whole experience more comfortable.

To open the night, Joe Oppenheimer and his band took the stage and welcomed us with an unexpectedly humorous set. With his eccentric Banhart-esque performance, he almost stole my heart away. I found myself smiling from ear to ear, and wowed by a natural musical talent. Not everyone can make a stage their home, but Oppenheimer was the ultimate in cool, working his way through a set filled with roots and blues, beautiful vocals, and great musicianship.

Next was the country/indie troupe Oliver’s Army. Fusing an array of different genres together, the group managed to create quite a powerful force on the tiny little stage they were all squished onto. Despite this, Ryan Oliver’s vocals were endearing, the layering of sound was captivating, and the band managed to change the pace of the set with every song.

After two amazing supports, last to make their way on stage were headliners Bears With Guns. With their young fresh faces, they could’ve fooled me into thinking this was their first slew of real shows, but there was an immediate maturity that came through when they began their set. Musically they were on point, every sound was clear and their performance was sharp. There was a great display of unique instrument knowledge with ukuleles and African drums being used throughout. The vocals delivered by singer Robert Saunders, were emotional and powerful, but had the necessary delicate moments. There was also a great display of enthusiasm from the entire band, with some guitar and drum solos thrown in for good measure. Particularly enthralling was drummer Angus Taylor, who seemed to have a never-ending supply of energy, seamlessly switching from one type of drum to the next.

Highlights of the night included hearing “Wandering Soldier”, a track off the new EP, and a few oldies in “Berlin” and “Enter Rapture”.
After such a great performance, this would have to be one of the best gigs I have recently been to. The boys proved just how much local talent we have. I look forward to seeing Bears With Guns when they come back to us all in the (hopefully) near future.

By Radhika Chopra
- SYN


HAILING from Parkes, NSW – a country town best known for its annual Elvis shindig – this spirited five-piece appears to draw on more than merely matters of the heart with this, their debut EP. An array of mandolins, ukuleles and cajons feature front and centre, together with hints of guitar fills and darker Hammond-organ refrains.

The single TAKEN FOR A FOOL is a Mumford and Sons-styled jig that showcases front man Robert Saunders’ vocal talents nicely: a note-perfect mourning of love lost but not forgotten. ENTER RAPTURE and TERMS & CONDITIONS both allow the considerable talents of lead guitarist Drew Farrant-Jayet to emerge but not dominate.
Producer Wayne Connolly (The Vines, Sarah Blasko, Youth Group) ensures the introspection remains radio-friendly.

Critical Rating: 3.5/5.
- Ed Gibbs - Sydney Morning Herald


Bears With Guns – Only The Quick And The Hungry
July 27, 2013

Bears With Guns

Only The Quick And The Hungry
Highway 125
2013

Safe to say, Sydney based Bears With Guns’ debut EP is a folk-lover’s dream. Only The Quick And The Hungry’s six tracks describe the journey the band has been on, both lyrically and musically.
It is clear that much of this EP has developed and evolved throughout the many busking sessions the band has performed, and the tracks truly are better for it.
Opener ‘Snakes & Ladders’ is an appropriately upbeat introduction to Only The Quick And The Hungry. The off beat claps and mandolin instrumental break transport listeners out onto the street watching the guys perform on an interesting collection of instruments.
Now, imagine a collaboration between Boy & Bear and The Cat Empire. You’re imagining current single ‘Wandering Soldier’.
‘Vulnerable’ is the closest to rock of the six tracks. The five-minute song showcases singer Rob Saunders’ vocal talent.
Closer, ‘Taken For A Fool’ is percussive, well layered and utterly atmospheric. One could imagine this came about as a result of friends jamming at a get-together, and each musician’s improvised part is gradually added until the final apex.
It is almost scary to think that this is a debut. What more can they give us?

Standout Track – Taken For A Fool
- Casual Band Blogger


Bears With Guns – Only The Quick And The Hungry
July 27, 2013

Bears With Guns

Only The Quick And The Hungry
Highway 125
2013

Safe to say, Sydney based Bears With Guns’ debut EP is a folk-lover’s dream. Only The Quick And The Hungry’s six tracks describe the journey the band has been on, both lyrically and musically.
It is clear that much of this EP has developed and evolved throughout the many busking sessions the band has performed, and the tracks truly are better for it.
Opener ‘Snakes & Ladders’ is an appropriately upbeat introduction to Only The Quick And The Hungry. The off beat claps and mandolin instrumental break transport listeners out onto the street watching the guys perform on an interesting collection of instruments.
Now, imagine a collaboration between Boy & Bear and The Cat Empire. You’re imagining current single ‘Wandering Soldier’.
‘Vulnerable’ is the closest to rock of the six tracks. The five-minute song showcases singer Rob Saunders’ vocal talent.
Closer, ‘Taken For A Fool’ is percussive, well layered and utterly atmospheric. One could imagine this came about as a result of friends jamming at a get-together, and each musician’s improvised part is gradually added until the final apex.
It is almost scary to think that this is a debut. What more can they give us?

Standout Track – Taken For A Fool
- Casual Band Blogger


After relocating from rural Parkes to Sydney in 2010, young five-piece, Bears with Guns, are clearly a band that means business. Emerging through Triple J Unearthed, the band’s second EP release, Only the Quick and the Hungry, comes packed with the potential, drive and instrumental chops to bring their classy brand of folk-rock jams to a wider audience. Of course the whole indie folk-rock scene has become heavily populated in recent years, particularly on the back of the local success of Boy and Bear and wide spread acclaim for international heavyweights, Mumford and Sons. Thus finding a way to stand out from the pack is becoming increasingly difficult. Thankfully Bears with Guns have the song-writing flair and strong, varied musicianship to carve out their own identity.
Although there are moments where the song-writing treads a fine line between the fresh and the derivative, mostly the EP shines. And considering their youth, there’s nothing too problematic here, as the songs contain an emotional pull and soulful edge that will hold them in good stead as their sound develops.
With this release being their second EP, the band has laid down solid groundwork for a likely full-length debut next time round.
One of the band’s strengths is their rich instrumentation which serves to create great depth and texture to their overall sound. Bears with Guns incorporate a tapestry of diverse instruments to compliment the basic guitars, bass and drums set-up. Horns, djembe, mandolin and ukulele are amongst the selection of instruments the band play adeptly, bringing rich layers of texture and rolling them into their cohesive sonic template. Also working in the band’s favour is an earthy grittiness to their sound, complimented by a clean, organic production job.
The six songs comprising the EP feature tidy arrangements, rich harmonies and a strong array of hummable melodies and catchy hooks to get stuck into. At a touch over 22 minutes it all ends rather quickly, but the concise and consistent quality of the song-writing and catchiness of the material bodes well for replay value. Catchy opener ‘Snakes & Ladders’ is an immediate highlight, drawing you in with snappy drum work, smooth, vaguely mournful vocals and superb musicianship. First single ‘Wandering Soldier’ exemplifies their charming knack of meshing an upbeat cadence with darker melancholic tones. Under three minutes long, It ends too soon and could have been fleshed out into a more substantial timeframe. Nevertheless it’s a superb tune, bookended by another excellent vocal performance, addictive hook and killer horn work.
The brooding ‘Winter Tree’ lives up to its frosty name with an undercurrent of sadness simmering beneath its sorrowful tone and heart-wrenching vocal. The song is an absolute cracker, despite its downbeat vibe, and arguably stands as the best song on the EP. ‘Taken for a Fool’ sounds ripe for radio airplay, closing the EP in a more optimistic fashion, with a catchy springiness to its structure and typically strong vocals (another drawcard for the band).
Bears with Guns are a band on the rise with a future that looks decidedly bright, assuming their song-writing continues to develop and prosper. Only the Quick and the Hungry is full of promise and is well worth checking out for fans of quality indie folk-rock with a darker angle.
7.5/10? Reviewer: Luke Saunders
- Reverb Magazine


After relocating from rural Parkes to Sydney in 2010, young five-piece, Bears with Guns, are clearly a band that means business. Emerging through Triple J Unearthed, the band’s second EP release, Only the Quick and the Hungry, comes packed with the potential, drive and instrumental chops to bring their classy brand of folk-rock jams to a wider audience. Of course the whole indie folk-rock scene has become heavily populated in recent years, particularly on the back of the local success of Boy and Bear and wide spread acclaim for international heavyweights, Mumford and Sons. Thus finding a way to stand out from the pack is becoming increasingly difficult. Thankfully Bears with Guns have the song-writing flair and strong, varied musicianship to carve out their own identity.
Although there are moments where the song-writing treads a fine line between the fresh and the derivative, mostly the EP shines. And considering their youth, there’s nothing too problematic here, as the songs contain an emotional pull and soulful edge that will hold them in good stead as their sound develops.
With this release being their second EP, the band has laid down solid groundwork for a likely full-length debut next time round.
One of the band’s strengths is their rich instrumentation which serves to create great depth and texture to their overall sound. Bears with Guns incorporate a tapestry of diverse instruments to compliment the basic guitars, bass and drums set-up. Horns, djembe, mandolin and ukulele are amongst the selection of instruments the band play adeptly, bringing rich layers of texture and rolling them into their cohesive sonic template. Also working in the band’s favour is an earthy grittiness to their sound, complimented by a clean, organic production job.
The six songs comprising the EP feature tidy arrangements, rich harmonies and a strong array of hummable melodies and catchy hooks to get stuck into. At a touch over 22 minutes it all ends rather quickly, but the concise and consistent quality of the song-writing and catchiness of the material bodes well for replay value. Catchy opener ‘Snakes & Ladders’ is an immediate highlight, drawing you in with snappy drum work, smooth, vaguely mournful vocals and superb musicianship. First single ‘Wandering Soldier’ exemplifies their charming knack of meshing an upbeat cadence with darker melancholic tones. Under three minutes long, It ends too soon and could have been fleshed out into a more substantial timeframe. Nevertheless it’s a superb tune, bookended by another excellent vocal performance, addictive hook and killer horn work.
The brooding ‘Winter Tree’ lives up to its frosty name with an undercurrent of sadness simmering beneath its sorrowful tone and heart-wrenching vocal. The song is an absolute cracker, despite its downbeat vibe, and arguably stands as the best song on the EP. ‘Taken for a Fool’ sounds ripe for radio airplay, closing the EP in a more optimistic fashion, with a catchy springiness to its structure and typically strong vocals (another drawcard for the band).
Bears with Guns are a band on the rise with a future that looks decidedly bright, assuming their song-writing continues to develop and prosper. Only the Quick and the Hungry is full of promise and is well worth checking out for fans of quality indie folk-rock with a darker angle.
7.5/10? Reviewer: Luke Saunders
- Reverb Magazine


Discography

Only The Quick and the Hungry (2013)
Taken For A Fool (2012)

Photos

Bio

Making the move from their hometown of Parkes in country NSW was a big decision for Bears With Guns, heading to Sydney in 2010 to hone their live show and refine their folk-rock sound. Using a near encyclopedia of instruments including cajon, djembe, mandolin and ukulele, topped off with warm husky vocals and harmonies, the band create a soundscape that’s equal parts rock, pop and folk.

The four original members – Rob, Gus, Drew, and Ryan- moved to Sydney to busk and play gigs. Busking became more than just a past time as they began performing more and garnering bigger crowds, until they were faced with the challenge of getting their instruments around town. This forced them to think about what instruments they could easily transport, and was pivotal in shaping the Bears’ sound.

Drummer Gus, unable to cart a whole kit, would sling the djembe or cajon over a shoulder to make busking expeditions light and easy. “The cajon was the perfect choice, it was something I could make sound like a drum kit, use as a bed side table and it guaranteed me a seat on packed out trains.”

For Ryan and Drew it was the mandolin and the ukulele that allowed them to get around town whilst still providing the energetic, driving rhythms they were known for.
With the cajon, mandolin, guitar and ukulele, the addition of Lachlan on keyboards completed the energetic Bears With Guns sound. Something that started as a way to make quick cash for full-time students soon escalated into the dynamic show we see today.

Those who caught the band’s recent East Coast shows will attest to their amazing live performance, a craft that only years of shows and busking can truly master. The band continues to maintain a direct link to fans, with an adventurous schedule of markets and suburban festivals dotted throughout their touring calendar.

'’Playing up close for people is so much fun and it’s about translating our songs in their rawest form,” said vocalist Rob Saunders. “Being able to just sing with a guitar, a mandolin and maybe a cajon or djembe really distills the essence of the songs and is a great way for people to experience us for the first time, before they head along and see our full show.”

Bears With Guns’ debut EP was released last year through one of Australia’s newest record labels, Highway 125 (owned by iconic Trackdown Studios), creating a loyal fan base that has stayed with the band leading up to their latest release “Only the Quick and the Hungry”. Featuring production from ARIA Award Winner Wayne Connelly (The Vines, Josh Pyke and Sarah Blasko), the EP has garnered an overwhelming response from fans and critics alike. The Sydney Morning Herald recently gave the EP 4 ½ stars, calling it a “boldly expansive folk-rock EP as unselfconscious as it is solid”.