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Live Review: Boy & Bear, Holy Holy

22 September 2014 | 3:00 pm | Helen Lear

Boy & Bear played an endearing show for their hometown crowd

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An excitable all ages crowd welcomed support act Holy Holy to the vast Opera House stage on Sunday night. The hip-looking duo were joined on stage by a support band including drummer Ryan Strathie (Hungry Kids Of Hungary) to help their warm, pastoral rock fill the room. New single History started the set, its catchy melody, soaring vocals and dramatic builds the perfect introduction, before radio hit Impossible Like You prompted a cheer from the crowd.

Whoops and hollers welcomed the calm and collected Boy & Bear to the stage. Smiling from ear to ear to be playing to a home crowd in such an iconic venue, they got straight into Bridges, before the big top lit up like a burnt orange sunset for Rabbit Song.

Swathed in green light, drummer Tim Hart took pride of place at the front of the stage as he began the intro to Lordy May, the harmonies between him and singer Dave Hosking truly captivating. Without his guitar, Hosking looked somewhat at a loss with what to do with his hands for Old Town Blues, filling in the gaps with little hand dances and a cheeky grin that made him even more endearing.

Classic Milk & Sticks picked up the pace before Hart and bass player Dave Symes swapped places for gentle ballad A Moment’s Grace. The cover of Crowded House’s Fall At Your Feet went down a treat as it always does, with a perfectly executed five-way harmony that was nothing short of breathtaking, before a sneaky mash-up with Neil Young’s Heart Of Gold snuck its way in, much to everyone’s delight.

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After a few shout-outs at the eagerly participating and sometimes heckling crowd, a few more tracks from album Harlequin Dream followed, including a great rendition of the title track complete with saxophone player, Andy Bickers. 

Everyone was up from their seats for Southern Sun and after a brief announcement that there’d be no encore, Feeding Line crashed in before the soft balled of Big Man finished the set, leaving everyone feeling rather serene and ready to head home to bed. It was a school night after all!