Boy & Bear perform at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion 2016 / Photo By Maria Boyadgis

Boy & Bear, Art Of Sleeping – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney 12/02/16

So it turns out Dave Hosking of Boy & Bear is a serious groover. Strip him of his guitar and there’s none of that, “but what do I do with my hands?” awkwardness that many a frontman has fallen prey to.

Okay, to be fair, the dancing was inspired by the band’s recent Like A Version cover of Back To Black by Amy Winehouse, but still, 10 out of 10 for both the vocal and physical performance – complete with sufficient levels of sass.

Tonight, the generous venue of the Hordern Pavilion is full of the kind of crowd who are happy to sing along softly to every word of every song – all very civilized.

The warm reception extends to support act Art Of Sleeping, who deliver a suitably ambient indie-folk set including tracks I Could Make You Happy, Win Your Heart, Above The Water and Crazy, as well as Montaigne (Jessica Cerro), whose out-of-this-world vocals never cease to amaze.

Playing the second last show of their Limit Of Love Australian tour, the boys of Boy & Bear are relaxed and easy on stage, powering through song after song with polished precision.

Over the next hour and a half their set list dips in and out of their archives with a balanced mix of old and new. Rabbit Song, Lordy May and Bridges set the tone before fresh tracks Break Down Slow, Man Alone and Showdown go down a treat.

While there’s limited banter, Dan does admit to never having actually been inside the Horden before, though he’s quickly dobbed in for having done numerous recent drive-bys just to see their photos lining the walls. To say they’re excited to be playing the iconic Sydney venue would be an understatement.

Favourites Southern Sun, Feeding Line and Golden Jubilee get a back-to-back run followed by Just Dumb.

Choosing to forgo the off-and-on-again fuss of an encore, they plough on through Part Time Believer, complete with some killer guitar work from Killian Gavin. Harlequin Dream gets a mean sax solo before the night wraps up with Walk The Wire.

All up it’s a faultless show. Safe to say it’s been a very strong start to 2016 for these guys and with a European tour about to kick off, it’s really just the beginning.

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