Bear’s Den isn’t just a name, it’s also an immaculate description of the music produced by members Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones. Their rich, acoustic folk drapes and folds, offering every shade of tonal sanctuary through Davie’s auburn tenor and Jones’ silky accompaniment. The duo added layers of ‘80s soft rock to last year’s sophomore LP, Red Earth & Pouring Rain. The album retains the confessional lyrics of previous works, while adding waves of synth and snare. In person, that demeanor persists. They’re both lovely, lovely human beings, willing to chat up Shirley the veteran Uber driver and discuss the nuances of today’s craggy political landscape with insight and support.
Fire up an arcade cabinet of Street Fighter II, though, and those teddy bears transform into merciless Grizzlies. We encountered the band in both settings last Saturday, as Paste editor Sean Edgar documented their soundcheck and live show at The Newport Music Hall in Columbus as well as squared off for some gaming at the 16-Bit Bar+Arcade. Davies picked Chun Lee, Edgar picked E. Honda and didn’t go well. He doesn’t want to talk about it.
The London band is currently on tour throughout the United States and Europe, and will also be playing live at the Paste studios this Friday. And though Paste may hold a grudge, the group puts on a sterling show.