The 2 Bears Live @ Tufnell Park Dome – A Reflection

Art & Culture

In a scene that can so often disappear up it's own arse trying to be serious and chin stroke inducing, The 2 Bears were a breath of fresh air when they appeared in 2010. With an emphasis on not taking themselves too seriously, the pair made up of Joe Goddard and Raf Rundell turned out an LP of sample-heavy, old-school flavoured house cuts in early 2012 that won the hearts of many a raver and indie kid alike.  

And indeed this attitude followed them on stage as they appeared in London as part of their first live tour sporting halloween inspired outfits. You could almost imagine you were watching a bunch of mates jamming in their garage if it weren't for the impressive array of Moog and Dave Smith gadgetry on stage flanking the centrally located mixing desk. That, and the Sink the Pink back up dancers….  

The pair, joined on stage by singer Adelaide McKenzie and a knob twiddling counterpart, launched into a 90 minute set covering a selection of their more dance floor oriented numbers from both albums. Sharing vocal duties between the three of them, they covered off tracks like Be Strong, Not This Time, Bear Hug, See You and Angel – Touch Me which roused a spontaneous sing-a-long from the crowd. 

There were definite issues that plagued the set however. Raf was obviously struggling with some illness and was having trouble fulfilling his vocal duties to his full potential. I really felt for the guy as he was really trying, but struggling, sometimes leaving the high notes up to the crowd to fill in. There were also sound problems throughout, with mixing levels being off, elements cutting out and even feedback, which seems like something that shouldn't be happening at a professional gig. Whether this was the fault of their own mixing desk, or the main mixer off to the side of the stage is hard to ascertain, but it was unfortunate not to hear the tracks in their full glory.  

At the end of the day, when you looked around the venue there were more hands in the air, feet off the ground and smiles on faces than I've seen at a gig for a long while. And really, isn't that what dance music is supposed to be about?