Romford and Upminster band Eliza and the Bear releases new album

PUBLISHED: 12:52 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 11 May 2018

Eliza and the Bear released their new single 'Real Friends' on Friday, April 20. Photo: Fraser Taylor.

Eliza and the Bear released their new single 'Real Friends' on Friday, April 20. Photo: Fraser Taylor.


A successful band who went from performing before small crowds in Romford and Upminster to performing before thousands, have returned with a new album and a refreshed line-up.

Eliza and the Bear performing at the Teddy Rocks Festival in Dorset. Photo: Alice Burton.Eliza and the Bear performing at the Teddy Rocks Festival in Dorset. Photo: Alice Burton.

Since signing with Capitol, Eliza and the Bear have experienced a rollercoaster couple of years that includes a sold out UK arena tour with Paramore and main stage appearances at the Reading and Leeds festivals, Boardmasters and V Festival,

The band’s sound has evolved over the years, leading them to eventually part ways with Capitol and sign with Be-Known music.

Now they are back with a revitalised sound and a new album which will be released later this year.

James Kellegher and Chris Brand from Romford, Paul Jackson from Upminster and Martin Dukelow from Cranham, first formed the band in late 2013/14.

Eliza and the Bear recently signed with Be-Known Music. Photo: Fraser Taylor.Eliza and the Bear recently signed with Be-Known Music. Photo: Fraser Taylor.

The Recorder spoke with Martin, 29, about their journey.

He said: “Chris, Paul and I were in a heavy metal band together. We used to drive all over the country just to play in front of small groups of people.

“And then one day we realised we were the only ones left who still wanted to carry on making music as a career.

“So we all got together and put out a track online and it started to get some love.”

After signing with Capitol, the band performed with Paramore, played with Imagine Dragons in Brixton and they recently toured Europe with Awolnation in April.

“The Paramore tour was phenomenal,” Martin said.

“We had all been in bands before, playing before small audiences in Essex when we were 14 or 15-year-olds. And then suddenly we were playing before huge audiences in the Manchester Arena.

“I think it dropped us in at the deep end and we had to learn how to engage that many people really quickly.

“Now I think performing live is massively our strongest element.”

Fans will have to wait to discover the title of Eliza and the Bear’s new album, as it has yet to be announced.

However Martin was able to reveal some details about what people can expect from their second full length album.

He said: “[The music] is still made and created in the same setting, it’s just that a lot of the songs on the first album were made about five years ago.

“With this album, the songs were written over a shorter period of time. It’s more current and it represents us where we’re at musically.

“It’s got a slightly different feel – more of a pop, disco, funk sound that comes from playing live and having a really good energy on stage.

“We love making people dance.”

Speaking about his favourite songs, Martin struggled to pick one but said that it’s not necessarily always the big tracks that become singles which are his favourite.

“For me it’s always the ones that are slightly more experimental, and we have got a couple of songs like that on the new album.

“The album feels like it has a a concept, it has a flow that rolls through the whole album.

“A couple of those songs are really close to us and they really evoke the total theme of the album.”

The band owe their name to the title of a collection of poems by Eleanor Rees.

While the name has led to some confusion from fans who expect a bear or woman called Eliza on the stage, Martin explained why the title is so fitting for their group.

“I like the mystery it creates,” he said. “I think when we’re writing music we just like there to be a little bit of depth, we like to put our own spin on it, and our name reflects that.”

Eliza and the Bear will next be performing at the Camden Rocks Festival on June 2 and at the 110 Above Festival on August 5.

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