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Review: Eliza & The Bear – Colchester Arts Centre

You can generally get a good feel for how busy a show will be by looking at the Facebook event for it. Often there’s hundreds attending and people chatting about the show and other times there’s a handful of people and silence. I think it’s fair to say Eliza & The Bear fell into the second category but, don’t despair, as I arrive just as Kloe takes to the stage to support (the second support act unfortunately having to sit this show out due to illness), the whole place is heaving!

There’s no doubt Kloe puts energy into her performance, the movement and inbetween song chat delivered with the tenacity of a primary school student who’s just found all the blue smarties at once before consuming a cash and carry sized crate of Panda Pops, working her way through future-pop-hit after future-pop-hit. I’m just not sure this is really the time nor the place for it – while Eliza & The Bear certainly fall on the poppier side of the indie spectrum, this is straight up pop music, the kind of thing that would have been on Radio 1 in the early noughties, before they tried and failed to become an edgy radio station. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad; for pop music there’s a whole bunch of redeeming qualities here, just that I’m maybe 15 years too old to feel anything other than embarrassment listening to it.

With that out of the way though, Eliza & The Bear enter the stage to a fairly crowded Arts Centre, a fair amount of people against the stage; it feels more like a weekend thanks to the crowd. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to make of the band, they were hugely popular with some of the writers at my old website but I never really took to them, they sound fairly epic live though, the dual guitars and keyboards reverberating around the church, the vocals polished to perfection. They certainly know how to write a tune or two too, the songs never failing to impress and, at times, being catchy enough to stick in my mind after the show.

Given that it was a school night and how early it was into the tour I was actually very impressed by how strong a set they performed and how much they appeared to be enjoying the whole experience. It’s clear that they’re a band who genuinely want to be out performing the songs to people and put a lot of effort into their live show. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re high up the summer’s festival bills sometime soon.

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