Hunter & The Bear is a new four piece band that sound like they should be American but aren’t! They started out as just two mates, Will Irvine and Jimmy Hunter, playing cover songs out of university. Will says, “We were playing in pubs at the time as you do, doing covers, and we just thought let’s try and write some of our own stuff and we did and decided it was sort of not terrible and worthy of giving it a go. We had never even considered music as an actual career option, it was just something we did for fun but the songs just got a lot better the more and more we did it.”
The duo made a great impression everywhere they played, with venues inviting them back for more, meaning the gigs just kept on coming. After doing the circuit and honing in on original songs, they set their sights on building their sound, but to do that they needed reinforcements. At the time, Jimmy and Will had a monthly residency at the upstairs venue of Soho’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and they stole drummer Gareth Thompson from another band playing there at the time and auditioned for a bassist. Only one guitarist showed up for the audition, Chris Clark, but Will said luckily for them he turned out to be “the best musician I have ever seen or played with.”
The beginning of 2014 marked the expansion of the band, which was the turning point when their fledgling career jumped up a few serious notches. They were asked to support guitar and rock royalty, Eric Clapton, who was looking for an up and coming unknown rock band to take on the road of his UK run of shows. All this success as a live band has inevitably led to a demand for an album and after spending some time at the new studio “The Gallery” in Acton, “Paper Heart” was released in May 2017 and we are proud to have added half a dozen or so of their tracks onto the Rock Stream Album playlist.