The Wandering Hearts review: a phenomenal folk-Americana group who are paving the way in the UK country scene

PUBLISHED: 15:17 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:18 27 November 2018

The Wandering Hearts at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Danielle Booden

The Wandering Hearts at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Danielle Booden


The Wandering Hearts, with support from Fiona Bevan and Ruston Kelly, provided a sold out crowd with a fantastic night of acoustic, folk and country music at Norwich Arts Centre last night.

The Wandering Hearts at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Danielle BoodenThe Wandering Hearts at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Danielle Booden

As the rain poured down, music fans of all ages packed into Norwich Arts Centre to enjoy a sold out show.

The first support of the evening was Fiona Bevan, a singer-songwriter from Suffolk, who co-wrote One Direction’s hit single Little Things with Ed Sheeran.

She has also co-written songs for the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer, Tom Walker, Mika and more going on to release her own debut solo album Talk To Strangers in 2014.

Having already drawn comparisons with artists as highly regarded as Lianne La Havas, Erykah Baduh and Joanna Newsom, Bevan’s soulful vocals were a delightful way to start the evening.

She has an endearing quality about her, talking confidently between songs to the audience. All of songs were delivered with pure class and elegance, drawing you in and leaving you wanting more.

It was a fantastic opening set and a great way to start off the evening. She is a huge talent - almost as huge as her hair!

Next to the stage was Ruston Kelly, a singer-songwriter from Nashville. Despite earning some headlines married to well-known country singer Kacey Musgraves, it was writing Nashville Without You for Tim McGraw that began to build his reputation.

His career continued to develop as he collaborated with Josh Abbott and Hayes Carli, singing his own publishing deal in 2013 with BMG Nashville.

Kelly is a talent in his own right, regardless of who he has collaborated with. When you’re stood in an atmospheric venue like Norwich Arts Centre in front of such a phenomenal talent then nothing else matters.

He is an exceptionally raw and authentic song writer and a fantastic performer. His humour and quick wit seemed to quickly win over the audience as he had everyone laughing in-between each song.

Keep your eye out for Ruston Kelly, there is no doubt that this is just the start of a long and successful career for him.

At just after 9.30pm, it was time for the headline act to take to the stage. The Wandering Hearts, a London based country-folk-pop quartet have followed in the footsteps of Ward Thomas, The Staves and The Shires as part of the up-and-coming British Americana scene.

With the recent release of their critically-acclaimed debut album Wild Silence it was great to be able to hear them perform live. Their harmonies are absolutely exquisite and blended together perfectly to create something really beautiful.

With country music on the rise in the UK, it was great to see a UK based group selling out venues and bringing a show of such high quality.

They performed a variety of tracks off of Wild Silence which a surprising amount of the crowd knew the words to. Even if people didn’t, they were still dancing along to the folk driven rhythms and melodies.

One of the highlights of the show was when they performed an unplugged rendition of Burning Bridges. The room fell so quiet, that you could of heard a pin drop, as the audience listened intently whilst their vocals and guitar bounced of the high ceilings of the Arts Centre.

The Wandering Hearts are a phenomenal folk-Americana group who are paving the way in the UK country scene. They will without a doubt see even more success in their career and are bound to be selling out much larger venues very soon.

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