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The Wandering Hearts / Zoe Graham

Celtic Connections @ Oran Mór (Thursday 23rd January 2020)

By • Jan 29th, 2020 • Category: Gig review

I am pretty certain that I’ve seen Zoe Graham before.

Zoe Graham

It would have been several years ago and in a very acoustic setting.

The music, the songs and the style have evolved since then but the talent was always on show.

That’s the thing with sticking people on new artist lists. Some of them have been working away at their craft for years. They’re not really new at all, you just weren’t paying attention.

Anyway, I digress.

Tonight in the venue she’s playing a collection of songs from her recent EP releases and some from forthcoming releases.

Mostly the songs are based around her voice and guitar and loop pedal. But some songs do have a bit of an electro pop edge which takes her onto keyboards.

She’s very good at talking to the crowd, holding their attention and building some excitement for the band they probably came down to see.

Which makes her either the perfect support act or the worst… she might overshadow the headliners.

Her songs tell little stories and there’s a fair amount of sadness in them – but with quite happy melodies.

The crowd seemed to love her.

The Wandering Hearts

The Wandering Hearts just seemed overjoyed to be here.

And not just in the false way that bands sometimes can. No, they seemed to have a genuine enthusiasm.

They told a little story of how and when things changed for them and that it was in this very room that it all kicked off. They played a support slot with Marty Stuart a few years ago which turned into a tour, which turned into a US tour, which turned into playing at the Grand Ole Opry.

And I don’t mean the one on Govan Road!

Out of the limelight they are backed by double bass, electric guitar and drums with the trio of Tara, Chess and A.J lined up at the front of the stage.

A lot of their set here was new songs – some never played to an audience before. Chess told us that she was really nervous about playing them. Like the fear of letting your baby out into the world for the first time.

And towards the end A.J joking that they should have asked the audience to vote on the new songs – actually I wish more bands did what they’re doing, go play loads of new songs, judge the reaction and let those songs grow and then record them.

I think this is a band that you can pick out their influences. Apart from the obvious Fleetwood Mac comparison you can tell the country, folk and pop.

And live they sound great. Their voices work really well together and the songs have a nice variety and good pacing.

Actually they sounded fantastic.

There’s a lot going on but credit to the sound guys. I could pick out everything. Every little detail. And of course half of these songs none of us have ever heard before so how would we know if there were mistakes?

They’re a good fun band and I think they’re better live than recorded.

I enjoyed this.

Wandering Hearts / Zoe Graham

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