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AAA Music | 9 December 2018

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The Wandering Hearts – Live @ Norwich Arts Centre

| On 04, Dec 2018


Monday 26th November, Norwich

On a cold, rainy night in Norwich, the sold-out Arts Centre was warmly open to three phenomenal acts taking to the stage. And what a delightful night it was with many fans early at the front of the stage to see up and coming Americana (but all British) group The Wandering Hearts. It’s difficult to pigeon-hole the sound of this band as they had elements of folk, country, soul and a great pop sensibility.

The first act was Fiona Bevan who is a local singer-songwriter with big golden locks who lives in Sudbury over the border in Suffolk. She gave us an assertive soulful set with a wonderful mesmerising voice that hinted slightly of Kate Bush. Her claim to fame was co-writing songs for well known artists as Mika, 5 Seconds of Summer and One Directions hit single ‘Little Things’.

Next up was Nashville native Ruston Kelly who also gave a set of really confident folk songs and was very funny in-between songs. I couldn’t help note a hint of Bruce Springsteen in his voice but certainly his songs were original. Tonight he wears a Slipknot T-Shirt suggesting he is a bit of a rebel but very cool with it and definitely one to watch.

I first caught The Wandering Hearts at Latitude this Summer, and they were one of my top bands of the festival playing in the small Alcove Tent (where mostly unheard of artists performed). They were so good that I was very pleased to see them again, and this time at Norwich Arts Centre which is renowned for showcasing tomorrows stars. The sold-out crowd really warmed to the band coming on stage and it was all smiles throughout (even though some of the lyrics were somewhat dark). Quite simply they were brilliant and amazing, with perfect vocals, perfect light, an attentive audience and above all spot-on sound throughout. Highlights included the group crowding around a solo mic and singing Burning Bridges unplugged and with the crowd silent, it was beautiful to hear the harmonies perfectly magically flowing. They ‘rocked’ things up with the lively and melodic Fire and Water, even though there was no electric guitar in sight! The band played a few songs from their upcoming deluxe version of their debut album ‘Wild Silence’ (I have to buy this when it comes out next February), and they were all superb.

The band came back for an encore and straight into Elvis Presley’s The Wonder of You, which was a great version. The band finished the show in up-tempo style with the melodic Devil, along with the audience providing further harmonies. One of the most enjoyable gigs of the year ended with smiles all round and a feel good factor like no other. This band are destined for much bigger venues, but I’m glad I saw them here first.

Nige Nudds

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