Free at Noon Flashback: Bear’s Den Proves Themselves to be an Obvious Standout in Today’s Folk Rock Scene

Bears Den live at Free At Noon | Photo by: Tiana Timmerberg
Bears Den live at Free At Noon | Photo by: Tiana Timmerberg

Based on their super casual demeanor and lead singer Andrew Davie’s repeatedly thanking the crowd for attending- you would never know that UK-based duo Bear’s Den accumulates an impressive 1 million listeners per month on Spotify.

The duo, consisting of Andrew Davie as the lead vocalist/guitarist and the multi-instrumental Kev Jones, was backed by an impressive four man band at today’s Free at Noon concert. The band was promoting their sophomore album Red Earth and Pouring Rain which was released on July 22. With the rise in popularity of folk-rock, it is easy for Americana inspired bands to get overlooked because of the influx of other groups also falling into this genre. Not Bear’s Den, Davies put a truly poetic spin on the typical themes of lost love and navigating adulthood. Lyrics like “There will still be a trace of our love left behind in the dew upon the vine” from Dew on the Vine and “I was too young to understand the flowers slipping from your hands” from their international hit Above the Clouds of Pompeii were enough to catch the ear of any prose enthusiasts in the crowd. Onlookers was mesmerized for the entirety of the thirty-minute set. Not a sound was made anywhere in the room except in between songs at which time the crowd enthusiastically whistled and cheered for the bashful men on stage. Continue reading →


Download a 3 song sampler from UK trio Bear’s Den

Bear's Den | Photo courtesy of the artist.
Bear’s Den | Photo courtesy of the artist.

WXPN listeners got their first taste of the British trio Bear’s Den this past summer at the XPoNential Music Festival. Poignant, sentimental, and emotionally intense, the acoustic trio gave a heartfelt and poised performance. The trio, featuring Andrew Davie, Kev Jones & Joey Haynes play stunning, banjo infused acoustic music, feathered with beautiful, warm, ambience. Continue reading →


XPNFest Recap: Bear’s Den get sentimental on the Marina Stage

Bear's Den | Photo by Noah Silvestry |
Bear’s Den | Photo by Noah Silvestry |

London’s Bear’s Den may be a British folk / rock outfit, but don’t let the banjo fool you: they are not just another Mumford & Sons.  The touring quartet weaves achingly beautiful stories that often begin deceivingly quietly before building into lush, gut-wrenching compositions.  Performing tracks from their debut Agape EP, last year’s Without/Within full-length and this year’s Elysium 10″, Bear’s Den made a wonderful debut on the Marina Stage.

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#XPNfest band Bear’s Den premiere video for “Elysium” on NPR

Bear's Den | photo courtesy of the artist
Bear’s Den | photo courtesy of the artist

NPR has premiered a new video for “Elysium” by Bear’s Den, taken from the UK group’s upcoming 10″ EP.  Filmed by James Marcus Haney, the video follows Haney’s younger brother and his group of friends at Seattle Pacific University over the course of a few days in early June.  But what was supposed to be a documentary of care-free college students enjoying the last few days of the semester suddenly turned tragic and heartbreaking when the campus experienced a shooting. Haney’s brother and his friends were deeply affected by the shooting, and you can read the filmmaker’s full statement on the circumstances here.  Bear’s Den will perform at this month’s XPoNential Music Festival on Sunday, July 27th.  Tickets are still available here.


Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Hold Steady and more top the XPoNential Music Festival lineup

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via

Dueling acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, eclectic New Orleans folk-blues combo Hurray for the Riff Raff, and stalwart rock n’ rollers The Hold Steady are just some of the 25 artists announced today in the full lineup of this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival.

These acts will play the two stages in Wiggins Park from July 25th to July 27th of this year, alongside the festival’s headlining concerts at Susquehanna Bank Center featuring Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26th) and Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts (July 27th).

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Kate McCann |
Photo by Kate McCann |

The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.

There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish |
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

The greater Philadelphia scene is nicely represented as well. Bigger names like avant-garde rockers Man Man (who leaked their appearance last week), punk rock troubadour Dave Hause and reinvented folklorists Marah will mix with emerging artists Commonwealth Choir, Our Griffins, Marian Hill, The Lawsuits, Ginger Coyle and Viv and the Revival.

And adding an even more eclectic scope to the lineup is a taste of zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and some Mississippi blues care of harmonica master James Cotton.

Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).

Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.

Wiggins Park
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Trigger Hippy (featuring Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene & Steve Gorman)
Lake Street Dive
Old 97’s
The Hold Steady
Hurray for the Riff Raff
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
Man Man
Nicole Atkins
Diego Garcia
James Cotton
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Dave Hause
Jeremy Messersmith
Caitlin Rose
Bear’s Den
The Lawsuits
Marian Hill
Ginger Coyle
Our Griffins
Viv and the Revival
Commonwealth Choir

Susquehanna Bank Center
Ryan Adams
Jenny Lewis
Band of Horses
The Districts


Vacationer, Pearl and the Beard, The Ghost in You and more on the bill for next month’s Communion Club Night


Pearl and the Beard | photo by Kate Daigneault
Pearl and the Beard | photo by Kate Daigneault

Communion Club Night returns to Underground Arts on March 6th with a stellar line-up of bands representing Philly, Brooklyn, London and Australia.  The showcase run-down will feature sets by Vacationer, Bear’s DenDustin TebbutPearl and the Beard, Worshyper, Drone Ranger and this month’s XPN Communion Club Night artist, The Ghost in You.  Tickets and information can be found here. Check out tracks from the artists below.

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