The Well + 1968 + Ritual King @ The Black Heart, London

Date: 7th February 2020
Review and Photography by: Ryan Whitwell / Shotison.com

Texas’ heavy psych slingers, The Well, were in London as part of a pretty big European tour. Tonight they would be joined by 1968 and Ritual King.

The Well

First up was Manchester’s Ritual King. Only a couple of weeks until their first full debut album comes out, and we got a solid chunk of what will be on that release! In short, lots of riffs and groovy tones!

Ritual King

Numbers like ‘Headspace’ offered a bit more vocal, but I went away with the memory that the majority of numbers didn’t have much in the way of voices at all, just a lot of great riffage with a few psych vibes thrown in for good measure!

Ritual King

Last number ‘Black Hills’ was a really meaty slab of chugging in the intro before going into some more tasty overdriven riffage. It was a bit more uptempo and got a few heads nodding for a great finale to the set, which was a pretty early start.

Ritual King

Cheshire based 1968 are a band I have seen a few times, and I’ve listened to their 2018 album quite a bit, and always enjoy. However, tonight would be the best I’ve seen them live! It seemed there was even more sweat and energy flying about than usual!

1968

The band weren’t the only ones getting a workout as a few crowd members decided to rock up to the front for an extended headbanging session!

1968

Such a solid collection of songs was in the set that I don’t remember them ever easing off the gas pedal. Just non-stop heavy tones, fuzzed-out and cranked up!

1968

The Well continued to build on the momentum of riffs the previous two bands had created, as the Texans stepped out to an excitable, hot and sweaty Black Heart eager to get some more servings of sick riffs and tasty basslines!

The Well

I’ve only seen The Well once before, at Desertfest Antwerp in 2018, and I couldn’t stick around for the whole set then so I was keen to get a full dose of those big vintage sounds pumped into my ears!

There was plenty of headbanging at the front and the rest of the attendees couldn’t resist nodding at least. At a couple of points one particularly active crowd member decided to go for a stage dive, which sort of worked, so no face plants tonight.

The Well

Infectious vibes throughout the set were impossible not to get into as those hefty tones from Lisa Alley‘s bass shook the venue (which is one of my favourites in London because the bass always seems to hit a bit harder).

The Well

Ian Graham’s wah pedal was getting a workout for those vintage psych tones that went down really well in the venue, made evident by the number of horns raised for the penultimate number. The headbanging moving further out as the infectious vibes continued to spread towards the back of the room.

The Well

I was pretty tired out after a lot of shooting, sweating, and headbanging, but others in the crowd seemed to still have something left in the tank as the final number got a bit of a pit moving near the front! A brilliant night of music!

The Well
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