As any hardened festival goer will tell you, all the best events are the ones where it absolutely buckets down which meant that August 7’s B in the Bear 4 was up there with the best.
The event has been raising money for Berwick & District Cancer Support Group for the past four years and despite the weather that the oh so lovely British summer blessed us a few weekends ago, people still came out in force to have a blast once again, after all, we’re used to rain up here!
The Brown Bear’s outside drinking and smoking area was transformed into a marqueed haven for the hundreds of people who descended on the pub ready to party in the rain and even before the first band took to the stage the atmsosphere was electric.
The band tasked with opening B in the Bear 4 were We Were Kings and although the crowd hadn’t reached its full capacity when they were on, their set of original songs certainly grabbed people’s attention and set the bar high for the acts that followed them.
With all proceeds going to a local charity, the emphasis was very much on local talent and bringing some from the other side of the Border were Scope, fronted by Eyemouth musician Lewie. The group combined self-penned material with classic covers like ‘Whole Lotta Love’ which saw Paul Sinclair of The Warehouse Announcement take lead vocals.
As the number of punters steadily climbed and the drinks flowed the atmosphere kicked up a notch and even the songs in between the on-stage turns had people dancing- with one enthusiastic lady getting on the table when LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem’ blared out from the speakers.
Next onto the stage were one of Berwick’s best known and most popular bands, Espionage of the Loc. Performing in all sorts of weather since winning Berwick’s Battle of the Bands two years ago, Brendan Portues, Liam Portues, Xennon Easton and Calum Knox, they didn’t let the persistant rain put them off their stride with Brendan even paying tribute to the two young fans who danced in the rain in their wellies for the entirety of the set.
With everyone warmed up either from drink or the food that was on sale- with chips selling out due to high demand!- the stage was set for the Joe Mangels to entertain.
Now after seeing them well and truly do the business in an interesting array of shirts at the Rock for Haiti benefit last year I had high hopes the guys would bring a bit of sunshine to a damp Sunday afternoon and they certainly came through with bells on!
In shirts that the ‘Neighbours’ character they’re named after what have been proud to wear, the four piece delivered a blistering set that prompted a number of ‘oh my god’ moments as the likes of Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’, Ace of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’ and even ‘Dont Cry for Me Argentina’ from ‘Evita’ were given the punk/rock treatment.
By the time they closed with their high octane take on Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ the Joe Mangels had the audience eating out of the palm of their hand and had everyone wanting a Joe Mangels t-shirt as modelled by two of their biggest fans at the front of the stage!
With the day at its peak and the audience on a massive high the penultimate act to grace the B in the Bear stage was The Warehouse Announcement, fresh from their successful album launch a week earlier.
The band are riding on the crest of the wave at the moment and the rain definitely didn’t put pay to that. All the best tracks from debut ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ were in their B in the Bear set from the rocking ‘You Know Me’and ‘Blind We Collide’ to the more mellow ‘Life Without Sleep’ and after doing an acrobatic dive from the top of the speaker during encore ‘Keep On Movin’ at the album launch, frontman Paul Sinclair freshened things up with a walkbout through the crowd before returning to the stage on someone’s shoulders singing all the way.
The evening closed with The Volts playing covers of rock standards from the likes of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin which was a fitting end to a cracking day.
The rain might have been neverending but so was the enthusiasm of the organisers, performers and everyone who attended and the event raised a fantastic £2,574 for Berwick & District Cancer Support Group.
And the best thing about B in the Bear 4? The fact that at the end of the day I could go home to a nice hot bath and warm bed rather than having to navigate my way back to a flooded tent!