I remember hearing Eliza and the Bear for the first time a few years ago. They had catchy melodies, insatiable rhythm and trumpets. An undeniable ‘feel good’ vibe and a new edge to pop. That first song was called Brother’s Boat and since then every song that has followed has been of the same calibre.
Kicking off the show with Lion’s Heart and Light It Up, the audience were dancing from the start and shouting the lyrics right back at frontman James Kellegher.
Though the set was blighted early on with tech problems it proved no problem for the band, filling out time with an impromptu cover of Slade’s Christmas classic Merry Xmas Everybody, a very early contender for Christmas number one, and even Happy Birthday for one lucky audience member!
Storming through songs that are due to be on their self-titled debut, new track Cruel was an anomaly from the upbeat tempo of the rest of the tracks. It was a contemplative ballad that silenced the Guildhall for a few minutes before Make It On My Own picked the pace up again.
The inevitable encore was preceded by chants of “GLOUCESTER! GLOUCESTER!” as suggested by the band themselves, laughing as they returned to stage to power through Friends and latest single It Gets Cold.
It was a fantastic performance with an abundance of heart and energy that was simply infectious.