FeaturesWritten by Caitlin Medcalf on September 25, 2019
In June, Boy & Bear returned. Their last foray into music was 2015’s acclaimed record Limit Of Love, so their return with single ‘Hold Your Nerve’ was a triumphant one, to say the least. The track marked a new period for the band, one that was defined by some pretty hard times.
The band’s frontman Dave Hosking has been battling with chronic dysbiosis, and it was only in recent months that his struggle was made public. A brief hiatus across 2017-18 allowed Hosking to get his health in order, and in that time after, the band began to ready their new record, Suck On Light.
Their fourth record will officially be out this Friday, 27th September and in true Boy & Bear fashion, they’re not letting a moment pass by. After heading back on the road and touring Australia last month, they’ve locked in dates all around the world that will see them touring for the next few months.
The boys are currently smashing out a massive North American tour, with half of the dates still to go. It’s been a momentous time for them as a few years ago, they were both unsure of the band’s future and fearful for Hosking’s health.
Queensland-born folk musical Stu Larsen has been opening for Boy & Bear all tour, and along the way, has been capturing some of their special moments both on and off stage. He’s given us a peek into what’s been going on behind the scenes with a few words on each picture too. Take a look below.
Pre-order Suck On Light here.
Reading terminal market, Philadelphia. Finding good fresh food on the road can be tricky. Our routine involves a coffee in the morning on the tour bus and then we usually head out as a group to try and find something nice and relatively nutritious for lunch and to have a bit of a stroll. It's great when you find a big market with lots of options as it stops 5 guys arguing over what cuisine we should go for today.
Dave holding an apple in Montreal (more of the fresh food theme) whilst debuting a a brown suede sheepskin lined jacket found at a flea market in Woodstock, NY where we did a little radio promo stop. If we can find an op shop/vintage store/flea market on tour we'll go check it out and look for new gig clothes or any clothes really. The trick is when packing to leave enough room in the suitcase for things like this that you find along the way.
Touring in North America gives us a chance to play places we've been before, for example, like Toronto, in a beautiful theatre and we get to do the theatre show vibe which is nice and lends itself to a certain mood.
But we also get to go to some new places, like in this shot from Hamilton (also in Canada) where we can do the sweaty club show thing. This was one of the most fun shows of the tour and it's cool doing shows where people are so close they can touch you (they mostly don't though!).
Every band needs a show-off and ideally more than one (we certainly have more than one!). Dave is usually happy to demonstrate his coordination for the camera, in this case revealing his skills on two wheels. We often get bikes in a city as we will only have a few hours between arriving and soundcheck so it's one of the best ways to get a bit of sunshine and see a bit of the place we're in.
Killian and Jon, cameras in hand. We seem to be trending to more and more cameras on tour now. Sure you can do it with a phone, but there's something nice about going for a walk with a camera. We got into Montreal at 3pm and we had a 5pm soundcheck and we worked out that if we walked fast we could get up to a lookout at the top of Mont Royal overlooking the city and just make it back to soundcheck in time.
This is Symesy in our lounge room. At the back of the tour bus there is a lounge where we will sit and have a morning coffee, read books, play cards, hang clothes out to dry (we've shrunk too many shirts in dryers over here!) or just have a quiet post-show drink.
We had a rare night off the bus in Toronto before our show, so we got up earlyish, left the airbnb, went and grabbed coffee, a cortado for Killian and pour overs for the rest of us. Then we caught a ferry over to Toronto island and hired bikes and rode around the island being tourists for a while. It was warm enough for a quick dip at the clothing optional beach, then we grabbed a bit of lunch and then we found our way back to venue for soundcheck. Sometimes we try and tell our friends/families that tour is hard and it's a grind etc, but no one believes you when you have days like that.