Bears From Labrador

Bears From Labrador are Dylan Rippon, Greg Braden and Rob Cann. They can be found writing and rehearsing in their studio in the heart of London Fields, E8. They performed for the first time a little over a year ago at the “Pretty Vacancies” club night held at The George Tavern on Commercial Road. They haven taken their name from Melville’s Moby Dick…

Bears From Labrador

“A tramping of sea boots was heard in the entry; the door was flung open, and in rolled a wild set of mariners enough. Enveloped in their shaggy watch coats, and with their heads muffled in woollen comforters, all bedarned and ragged, and their beards stiff with icicles, they seemed an eruption of bears from Labrador”
The whalers were outsiders, exiles on the high seas for years at a time, returning once in a while to land, unrecognisable to family and friends. And here is the music of such forgotten people and places. The songs are populated by boy soldiers, bandits and pistoleroes, the great Bella Starr, El Cid brandishing his mighty Tizona, highway killers, coal miners, Milton’s Satan, the mourners watching RFK’s funeral train, all the world’s great outsiders. Bears From Labrador have been compared to everyone, from Neil Young to Beck, Credence and Nick Cave, The Rolling Stones and The Raconteurs; one reviewer wrote “Think Kings of Leon covering The Beatles”. High praise indeed, and yet no one can quite pin it down which is just as it should be. (Biography written 2009).


12_04_08: First gig at The George Tavern
11_10_08: “Wilderness” EP released; Track Of The Day The Times and Q, The Mag (9/10), Sonic Dice (5/6), Altsounds (8/10), Allgigs (8/10), Click Music (8/10), The Music Magazine (8/10)
31_10_08: Live Session for BBC Radio Shropshire; First plays from Tom Robinson BBC R6, Adam Walton BBC Radio Wales
07_11_08: “God” Pick of the Week Radcliffe and Maconie BBCR2
12_08: Recording second EP at Sawmills
06_02_09: Timeout “Critics Choice” for headline gig at 93 Feet East
30_05_09: First date of American Tour, Pappy & Harriets, Joshua Tree CA
08_06_09: Last date of American Tour, The High Dive, Seattle WA
09_07_09: Tom Robinson phones the band personally to say how much he loves the music
13_07_09: “El Cantar De Mio Cid” released on HRWZ – Allgigs 9/10, Click Music 8/10
07_09: Live Session and Interview for BBC Radio Wales and second Session for BBC Radio Shropshire
08_09: Shambala Festival
01_10: Bears From Labrador embark on hiatus, or a long sea voyage – reasons unknown


The Mag
“Every so often that sacred padded envelope, sent from The Mag and stuffed full of CDs, is kind enough to bestow upon me a band with real talent…..the whole of Wilderness has been structured perfectly 9/10”

“Bears From Labrador have produced a beautiful classic rock EP with thought-provoking lyrics, designed to endure the test of time.”
“It’s unusual for a band to be compared to such a diverse range of talented artists; if they keep producing songs of such a high-calibre Bears From Labrador will be definitely one to watch.”

Sonic Dice
“The pace picks up with the star-turn, ‘Trees’, as a vibrating latin trumpet hails its arrival. The warping guitar riff and papery vocal hark back to the “summer of love“; think Kings Of Leon covering The Beatles. 5/6”

The Music Magazine
“A full offering could be incredibly exciting but right now I’m too busy to contemplate this. A lazy Sunday afternoon drifting off to Wilderness EP is certainly the way forward. 8/10”

Time Out – Live preview and Critics Choice 06_02_2009
“Bears From Labrador make Beck-flecked anthems”

“Trees is simply a tremendous tune!…and will catapult Dylan et al to bigger and better things very quickly.”
“Give this EP the time that it deserves and you’ll be loving those Bears….they won’t be in the trees for long.”

Q online – “Rearview” Track Of The Day and review
“delightful changes of pace and touches of Midlake and early 70’s Neil Young….”

The Times online – “God” Track Of The Day and review
“God’s delicate intro lures you in then leads into a thumping, stoner rock-style verse that’s hard to resist…”

“God…it’s Crazy Horse-era Neil Young meets The Rolling Stones, yet sounding even more like Raconteurs meets Ambulance Ltd……..fizzing rather than fizzling with crackling distorted feedback.”
“Trees…sounds like 1970’s Beatles may have done had they discovered Mexico instead of India”
“Wilderness…Bears From Labrador can stand tall and proud of what they have produced here.”

SubbaCultcha – “Wilderness” review
“Slinky jazzy soulful indie with nice lyrics, beautifully sung and a welcome return for the use of the guiro….”

Bearded Magazine

“a riotous blast of gloriously taut blues aceness. ‘Me And Bella Starr’ is a careworn and whiskey-flecked lament that flows between twinkling melancholy and bloodied-but-unbowed resolve, eventually building to a shuddering climax that sounds like a teary Neil Young hijacking Radiohead’s ‘Life In A Glasshouse’ and crashing it into a trumpet factory. Americana worthy of the name. ”


“Opener ‘Chop It Down’ is a confident electric rumbler with dirty-sounding guitars with a hypnotic riff and cooing backing vocals, the drummer sounds a little like that ace bod in The Parlotones. If you dig Buffalo Springfield’s ‘Mr Soul’, have a listen to this….. the whole ensemble seem to understand dynamics, unafraid to drop back to nothing at appropriate spots. Something good about this lot.”


“The London-based trio’s second release is a bouncy and proud wee EP with a spring in its step and armfuls of snake-hipped rhythm that shamelessly nip at your undercarriage like a flustered terrier. Opener ‘Chop It Down’ certainly isn’t backward in coming forward, wasting no time at all in stirring up an off-kilter ruckus that morphs into a wonderfully laconic garage-rock strut, sliding along with a pleasingly menacing swing. 4/5”

Record Box

“I’m not sitting on the fence anymore, I like this group and El Cantar De Mio Cid is the turning point in this. Opening with Chop It Down they do enough to settle me on their Americana meets folk sound from the off and the Mexican feel to Me And Bella Starr convinces me, this is a track that Calexico would kill for. Love and Cruel As The Wind are beautiful and windswept efforts that compete a strong line up for this EP. 4/5”

Call Upon The Author

“Finding the perfect matching points for elements of blues, country and folk, they craft songs of exquisite beauty. Opener ‘Chop It Down’ blasts you from the off, fusing the blues to a garage rock rhythm section and battering you about the head with it’s beat. ‘Me and Bella Starr’ sounds like the musings of a bourbon fuelled bar band down on their luck, beautifully melancholic like a meeting of Ryan Adams and The Tragically Hip’s more introspective moments. ‘Cruel As The Wind’ on the on the other hand is the gem of this EP, fuzzy and warm, but not lacking in edge, it’s the ideal calling card for a very special band that are worth keeping your eye on!”


“A great EP from start to finish. They may not be the most attention seeking of bands but they certainly deserve to become so.”


“Bears From Labrador are very definitely worth seeking out and
shouting about. 4/5”

Sounds XP

“Best of all is ‘Chop It Down’, with the sort of punchy swagger that Nick Cave might
have if he were a New rather than Old Testament kinda guy, on the side of the angels rather than battling his demons.”

The Music Fix
“Chop It Down could be easily mistaken for Queens of the Stone Age (no bad thing, obviously).”