- 05 Oct 15
Another rising act you should be keeping an eye and an ear on - while they might have had to change names, the artists formerly known as Little Bear are ready to strike
What’s in a name? Hot Press got properly excited about a four piece called Little Bear, along with most of the industry, a couple of years back. It helped that they were hailing from Derry at just the right time. “That was the year of it being The City of Culture,” says singer Steven McCool. “It seemed like all eyes were on Derry, which was a great opportunity for us.” Wowing St. Augustine’s Church for Other Voices, they even stepped in capably for Two Door Cinema Club. “Pretty amazing for a band that was just starting out.” Today, however, Little Bear are dead. “The name was trademarked in the States for the cartoon. We are planning to go to Nashville but we were told at the time that we wouldn’t be able to sell any merchandise or basically use the name for any type of sales.” Finding PORTS was free, they felt it fit in with their beguiling, haunting music’s nautical themes and the fact Derry used to be a port. The hiccup presented its own opportunities. “We could work with the sound a bit more; delve into it a bit more. There was a sense of renewal.” Well in that case, long live PORTS! Their debut album is done and dusted, unifying their new material and the cream of the old crop. Acclaimed US producer Dan Long (whose work on Local Natives’ debut PORTS adored) liked what he heard and came aboard to bring it to completion. Its arrival could spark a massive 2016 for the guys, and deservedly so.
Hear:Brand new single ‘Gameplay’, out October 12
See:PORTS live in Belfast’s Blackbox (October 2), HWCH (3) and Cork’s Cyprus Avenue (4)