The name draws inspiration from a story they saw online. Kristen Jones, of Tennessee, claims she was doing yoga at her parents’ house on Lake James in Western North Carolina in 2016 when she felt a lick on the back of her neck. Thinking it was a dog, she went to pet it only to realise it was something much larger . . .
Formed in 2016, Black Bear Kiss grew quickly on the unsigned music scene. Playing their own brand of upbeat, riffy rock inspired by Foals, Royal Blood and Queens of the Stone Age. The band pride themselves on high energy performances, leaving nothing on stage. The 4 piece band is fronted by singer Chris Leech, who is based in Radbrook Shrewsbury, with members Chris Bagnall, Colin Haden and John Melia coming from across the West Midlands.
They say adversity makes you stronger….with Black Bear Kiss over the last few years, the band have overcome serious challenges, but still form a tight knit group. From band members having serious operations mid-tour to the tragic and sudden passing of guitarist and chief songwriter Rob Jones in 2021, the group have an unshakable bond and are more determined than ever to showcase their abilities.
Notable achievements for the band include playing the Peaky Blinders festival in Birmingham, lining up alongside Liam Gallagher and Primal Scream. Black Bear Kiss were also the first band to play at Albert’s Shed - Telford, in a special event for BBC Introducing and Midlands Today.