Birmingham Promoters presents:
HUNTER & THE BEAR + LAWRENCE TAYLOR
Hunter & The Bear: Inspired by artists such as The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, Will & Jimmy started to write and perform as a duo. Jimmy took responsibility for lead guitar, mandolin and vocal whilst beside him Will not only played rhythm guitar but also kick drum and joint lead vocals. Will took a performance course at University, where he met Josh who was also pursuing the same degree.
Jimmy & Will had already decided they needed a third member to play bass and over a few drinks, and despite already being an accomplished guitarist, Josh decided to learn the bass. This completed the band lineup and in November 2012 the trio all moved to London to bring their own brand of power folk to the huddled masses. A mix of folk, country & rock, tight three part harmonies and explosive energy ensures an impressive live show.
In 2016 Lawrence Taylor’s aim was true as with his freshly recorded debut EP, Bang Bang, he made his mark. Taking a YouTube/ streaming route that’s been much copied since the simple, emotive yet devastating title track proved a heart-stopping, compelling bolt for audiences, as with limited radio airplay the EP clocked up around a quarter of a million streams a day around release. Laying it all on the line for the sake of the song, the Birmingham-born singer’s the passion and pathos not only chimed with listeners, but his accomplished songwriting suggested this was no flash-in-the-pan but the emergence of an important new talent. Indeed, having cut his musical learning how to work a crowd – or rather a mosh pit – in hard rock bands as a teen, before relocating to London where he developed his own sound via a gruelling round the clock grind of playing open mics at night and working supermarket shifts all day, Lawrence’s breakthrough was no accident. “It’s a constant chase for that sound, it’s exhausting, but it’s the reason I’m here and I love it,” he says of the graft.
A follow-up to Bang Bang has not been immediate, but there was good reason for not rushing. When you write honestly from the heart getting everything right is vital – and with the Poor Boy EP now set for release via Glassnote Records it is clear the wait was worth it
The redemptive title track builds from a foreboding lyrical opening, to its smouldering, shimmering climax, while baring its emotional bones, No Messiah is an evocative meditation around accepting that sometimes we are helpless. The soaring Fight For Your Life is an honest “emotional response to how I feel I’m fighting for everything at the moment” before the rolling beats and swelling melodies of closer Home provide the backing to a simple, yet affecting expression of missing the people and places that matter most.
Perhaps a little later than expected, with Poor Boy EP Lawrence Taylor remains on target.