Eliza and the Bear and Model Aeroplanes – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen – 09/10/14
So, I’m back in the Lemon Tree as an observer again (it’s still weird not having my camera with me) but someone has to make the notes, right?
Tonight we’re here for an evening of indie/pop with Model Aeroplanes supporting Eliza and the Bear, as part of the Lemon Trees’ Freshly Squeezed sessions.
Looking around I see a whole bunch of young folk, late teens or early 20’s at most – with some maybe as young as the minimum age (over 14’s only tonight) for the evening – leaving me feeling rather old and sad. Oh well. In the end I’d say there were around 80 or so people making up the crowd. Not massively busy, but not a bad show for a Thursday on a schoolnight.
Model Aeroplanes have a following in their own right – as can be seen from the already present stake-out spots at the barrier when we arrived. They’ve had a busy summer, we’ve come across them quite a few times this year – from goNorth when they played in a small pub, to Wickerman where they were played the main stage on the Saturday afternoon.
They’ve just supported Fatherson at The Garage and will apparently be back, headlining here at The Lemon Tree on the 23rd November.
Model Aeroplanes formed in January 2013 (although the boys have been playing around with the name since they were around 13), and made up of 4 teenage ‘lifelong friends’ from Dundee they’ve had a busy year or so, with their second single, Innocent Love, receiving BBC Radio 1 airtime and they play with a competence that some longer standing bands would envy.
Kicking off their set with this song is a good move getting the gig off to a good start and getting the crowd, who were obviously up for some fun, bouncing.
Rory, lead vocals & guitar mentions that this is only their second time in 2 years in Aberdeen. By the end of November they will have doubled that score, with more to come I suspect. Ben on the bass is my favourite to watch though, bouncing all over the place and obviously having a great time.
I’ve seen them several times now and I have to say, they have grown on me with each viewing – they’re putting in the hours and improving with each show. I’ll be interested to watch their progress.
Eliza and the Bear are an all male 6 piece band from London, named after a book of fairy tale like poems by Eleanor Rees.
We came across the band name on various festival lists over the summer but never managed to catch them, due to clashes. The band name was maybe the reason why we missed them – having researched some bands before going, I always seemed to skip this one because the name made me think of an acoustic female/male duo. Not sure why, but anyway nothing could be farther from the truth – with 2 guitars, bass, keys (a very bouncy guy considering he was sat down), trumpet and drums on offer, and although an acoustic guitar does make a showing at one point it could not be less like I had imagined when it does.
Still, when I saw they were headed to Aberdeen, I thought it was worth heading along for a look and I am glad I did. We got lucky actually, as their gig the following night in Dundee was cancelled due to illness and the night before they had ended up playing an acoustic rendition of ‘Light It Up’ in the street outside King Tuts in Glasgow due to a fire alarm.
They start off with ‘Friends’ – a bouncy song which does the job and gets the crowd’s attention. With some easy to pick up lines (‘I got friends, I got family here’), they have sing-along help fairly quickly.
The next track, Upon the North, has a good bass line followed by (“Let’s have a dance”) ‘Whyb’. The lead guitar in ‘Talk’ reminded me of Kid Canaveral when he gets going.
The bulk of the band went off stage for ‘Cruel’, leaving just the two guitarists, it was an acoustic number sung with great emotion. Possibly my favourite of the night. ‘I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you all the world, but I’ll try to.’
‘Light It Up’ is the lead song from their EP, and is more pop-like too, I suppose, to try to appeal to a broader audience. It’s definitely an easy one to pick up and sing along to. ‘Cold’ was a good bounce to end the night.
The only minus to the evening, really, was that the trumpet was hard to hear – not sure why but maybe we were not stood in the best place to hear it.
They mentioned that they’ve been working hard on an album, which is due for release once they’ve finished their tour.
If you can come away from a gig, able to remember a song or two you’ve heard, it is usually a good sign – I have a few good signs from that night and for next years festival circuit, I shall be adding them to my list.
Words by Dark Secret, images by Still Burning.
Eliza and the Bear Website
Model Aeroplanes Website