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Byron Shire
May 19, 2024

Boy & Bear have lived the musical fairytale

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Forming in 2009 and then scoring an impressive five from seven nominated Arias for their debut release Moonfire in 2011, it seems the lads can’t put a foot wrong. Where most bands have some trepidation about the follow-up second album, B&B were philosophical.

Of the 2013 release Harlequin Dream, bass player Dave Syme believed ‘success is always a surprise and you can’t rest assured that it will ever happen again. It’s not like you can even try to make it happen again. The gig difference with our second alum was that we decided to take more control and to be more involved in the decision-making process.’

Boy & Bear are currently just over two weeks into a national regional tour following on from their time in the UK and the US at the beginning of the year. ‘It’s great for us,’ says Dave, ‘because we will be going back to play the US and Europe later in the year and we are working on some new ideas. We try to find some time in the touring to workshop new material for an upcoming album. The shows overseas have been amazing; we are being welcomed by a lot of people!’

boy-&-bear-Syme was even more surprised last month when the band flew in to play the follow-up set after the Doobie Brothers at Perth’s West Coast Blues Festival.

‘It was great hanging out with the Doobie Brothers after the show. What was funny was one of the guys, Tom, was taking photos with us and sending them back to his daughter in the US because she’s a big Boy & Bear fan! That was a pretty cool moment!’

North coast music lovers saw Boy & Bear in full show mode at last year’s Splendour in the Grass when they walked out to a tent of more than 10,000 eager fans.

‘It’s amazing to get that kind of response from an audience,’ says Syme.

Initially a solo project with Dave Hosking on vocals and guitar, Boy & Bear expanded petty organically with players joining until by November 2009 the band was ‘a combination of drivey indie folk and choral harmonies’. According to Dave Symes, Boy and Bear are that magic combination of players that got it right from the start.

‘I think it’s a hard thing to get right and it takes a lot of personalities and characters in a band to respect and understand, and that can be hard in the arts because there is a lot of ego out there. What we pride ourselves on is that we are a band where we all have a voice and we respect each other’s ideas and try to find the same vision.’

Catch Boy and Bear when they hit the Lismore Workers Club on Wednesday May 14.

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