Black Deer Festival: The Wandering Hearts – Live Review

Now a country music/Americana festival in the UK wouldn’t be a country music festival without The Wandering Hearts. Drawing the biggest crowd of the Friday so far, The Ridge tent was packed with very keen fans who were having an exceptional time. Things didn’t seem to be going to plan as The group stood on stage and appeared to be having some technical issues to begin with which went on for a good ten minutes. Tim from The Wandering Hearts made a joke as the issues were sorted saying “I hope you enjoyed our set, goodnight “. In fact, Tim was quite witty throughout the set and overall, The Wandering Hearts seemed so much more confident with their crowd interaction than I had ever seen them – no doubt their time in Nashville had helped a bit but I certainly felt a much stronger connection with the audience and TWH which was very warming.

The Wandering Hearts are one of the most vocally strong groups going and it is hard to not see why this group have been so successful in the last year, especially since the release of their debut album Wild Silence. With more material than from when we first saw them in January 2017 this group could have played all night and I would have been ok with that. With elements of so many artists but at the same time incredibly unique, TWH gave a very solid and flawless performance showcasing all of their individual strong vocals including Chess who takes lead vocal on the track Wild Silence which was delightful as we don’t get to hear solo often. One thing I always notice is what the girls wear, especially Chess who has wonderful taste in style. The group gel well together and bounce off each other comfortably. The audience were treated with songs such as Wish I Could, Wild Silence, Burning Bridges which they gathered around one mic to sing. Tara informed the crowd that they had only sung Burning Bridges this way once before at The Ryman in Nashville and hoped it would work here which it did and the crowd roared. Other songs from the set included Rattle, Fire and Water, Biting Through The Wires and a debut of new song, still untitled but ‘possibly with the word Drowning in it somewhere’ according to AJ which they wrote with Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmerman otherwise known as Striking Matches who joined them on the stage to perform the song. The new song was brilliant, performed so well you would never have known it was their first time and with Sarah from Striking Matches slide guitar skills, it was even better. They all seemed genuinely surprised by the end of it that it went so well.

Closing the set with Devil, the crowd sang along merrily and it was sad to see them go but what a performance. The group appeared to have done a surprise slot on a smaller stage later on which I missed but heard the last song. Gutted is an understatement but it is what it is and by the sounds of the roaring crowd, they clearly played just as well as before.

Listen to Wild Silence here

Purchase Wild Silence here

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