Hunter & The Bear on playing TRNSMT and evolving their sound

Hunter & The Bear (Alice Hadden for TRNSMT Festival)

THE King Tut’s stage at TRNSMT was the place to be over the past two weekends for up and coming musical talents.

And one of the acts performing, Hunter & The Bear, said the legendary Glasgow venue was the perfect name for promoting new bands.

“King Tut’s the venue is so important in Scotland and for us as well,” says vocalist Will Irvine. “It’s a rite of passage for rock bands and it’s great that they’re curating that stage. It feels right.”

The band, also featuring guitarist Jimmy Hunter, Chris Clark on bass and drummer Gareth Thompson, played their set on the second Friday night of the city centre festival.

(Alice Hadden for TRNSMT Festival)

With the likes of Texas, The Darkness and Queen & Adam Lambert on the main stage, the Glasgow Green site’s second stage saw the likes of The Xcerts and Mason Hill perform.

“It’s nice that there are only two stages at this festival,” says Hunter. “We’re on the up and it’s a nice chance for people to come and see breaking acts on a fairly small stage.”

Thompson adds: “It’s nice meeting new people and and going to a new place.”

It was a hometown crowd for Glaswegian Hunter, and it’s a city that the whole band has always been fond of.

“Glasgow crowds are always the best,” says Chris Clark, hailing the fact that the group’s show at the city’s The Garage was sold out so quickly.

“They always come out for us, so mon the Glasgow!” cheers Irvine.

#TRNSMT was SICK yesterday. View from the stage wasn’t bad! You guys are the best. 🙌 x

Posted by Hunter & The Bear on Saturday, 7 July 2018

The band are looking ahead to launching new music at the end of this week, with their latest track Electric being released on Friday.

“It’s always a bit strange when you’re releasing a new song, especially if you’re like us and trying to forward yourself and take a different tact to stuff we might have done before,” Will says.

“There’s a bit of apprehension but we’re excited for people to hear it – we recorded it while ago.”

(Alice Hadden for TRNSMT Festival)

The group started out with just Hunter and Irvine, the pair meeting at university in Newcastle before heading north to Irvine’s family home in Achiltibuie, Wester Ross, to write music.

They recruited Clark and Thompson after relocating down south, expanding the band and picking up more live shows.

Having played a number of festivals and supported Eric Clapton at The Hydro, they released album Paper Heart in May 2017.

And as they write for their next release, Hunter reckons the band’s sound is ‘getting more modern’.

“Our album that came out in May was a kind of tip of the hat to the older stuff that we grew up listening to,” he says. “We released a song Skin Tight in November, a single after the album that felt like a bit of a step towards the modern and we decided that was the route we wanted to take.

“We didn’t want to make a single or album that sounded just like more songs from the first album – I know that’s a very snooty and artistic thing but we’re very snooty and artistic!”

Hunter & The Bear – Electric is released on Friday 13 July