Without a doubt I can say we don’t celebrate local and emerging bands enough in this city. Luckily there are those who take it upon themselves to rectify this by arranging a band competition to bring the awesomeness to the people.


Winner of Archive Untapped Original Music Competition, Bear & Fox, fronted by Ben Marnane and Marek Ransome

Archive Untapped Original Music Competition had some 48 bands duke it out at West End’s Archive Bar. Presented by Audrey’s Music Shop and its major sponsors, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang and Mitchell Creek Rock N Blues Fest.

After 12 gruelling weeks there were four bands at the competition’s grand final, but only one winner.

The winner of Archive Untapped Original Music Competition on Thursday 13 November were non other than Bear & Fox, fronted by Ben Marnane and Marek Ransome. I caught up with the guys the week after to find out who the musicians behind Bear & Fox are.

When asking them how it felt to win the contest Marek Ransome ,with great enthusiasm, says, “Awesome!” And Ben Marnane, with excited humbleness, says, “It was a really nice surprise as well, because we’re used to being told we’ve lost.”

Both then telling me they had great fun taking part in the contest and really happy with the turn out, especially at the grand final. Especially that all the bands were so different made the experience even better and making the contest more even.

“Such a variation in genres of music,” Marek said.

“It was good that all of the bands were different, because we just get in and enjoy it. And if we didn’t win it would’ve been a really fun night,” Ben said.

“Must’ve been hard to judge, because each band was quite different. So I think it was really close.”

“Win or lose — [we] had a really good night,” Marek said.

Ben and Marek started working together under the name Bear & Fox in 2012 just before leaving Canada.

“Ben and I went to High School together for 5 years, (but) then after HS we stayed in touch but we didn’t see each other that frequently for about three years after, Marek said.

“One day I heard Ben was thinking about moving to Canada, and I wanted to do the same, we got in touch and a few months later we were in Canada.”

When asked where they get their inspiration from Ben tells me they sometimes get it from specific experiences.

“Sometimes it’s specific experiences. The single we’re releasing was from a specific experience written over time [and] the anticipation of going to San Fransisco. In retrospect we rehashed the song, but that’s very much a programmatic song. It’s about that specific idea,” he said.

“It’s called San Fransisco City Guide.”

“We wrote acoustic songs right up until we wanted to get a bass player and a drummer to become more rocky and fun,” Marek said.

“It added an extra bit of zing.”

“I found we write a lot of stuff after a big night or a moment of realisation.”

“Most of the time, post-rational realisation, Ben said.

“Wrote a song called Cobble Land when were traveling through Mexico, which were specific about Mexico. Ben got bottled and I got robbed. But then there were a whirlwind of good things that came with it,” Marek said.

They won under the name Bear & Fox which is the name they are known for when playing their more laid-back acoustic music. Now when they have added a bit more zing to their sound they will be known as Fat Baxter, which their next single San Fransisco City Guide will be released under. After that release they hope to release another two tracks this year.