Morag Tong + Oak + Brule @ The Black Heart, London

Spread the metal:

Morag Tong + Oak + Brule

@ The Black Heart, London

9th December 2018

Review & Photography by Ryan Whitwell / Shotison

Brule

Three of London’s finest bands were playing Camden tonight on a solid bill. It’s possible to lump all of them together as part of the ‘stoner’ genre, but each have their own nuances. Morag Tong, Oak and Brule were up for shaking the foundations of Camden’s Black Heart.

Brule

Brule were first up. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen them and I’ve been wanting to see them again since then as I recall really enjoying their set then. Tonight was no different, hard and heavy, solid driving riffs, everything I want to hear.

Brule

People were filtering into the room from the downstairs bar as Brule continued with some great rhythms. Plenty to get the hair flying with strong headbanging tracks. The band mentioned a new album ready to go as soon as there’s a distributor behind it, so any hard rock/stoner type distributors get in touch with Brule, please!

Brule

Oak are another quality band. They recently had a line-up change with new drummer, Alex (who also plays in Butcher in the Fog), taking up the role of smacking things with sticks.

Oak

 

It’s more big heavy stoner rock, but this time focus seemed to fall upon the great vocals of singer Andrew. Fantastic vocal talent from that man, with extended notes and great clarity throughout the set. He’s also incredibly expressive, throwing himself onto each song and beckoning the crowd to head bang a bit harder.

Oak

 

These guys released their third EP, Oak III, earlier in the year and it’s a great listen if you like your stoner rock to lean into a punchier attitude. The final number tonight saw guitarist Kevin jump forth to do his thing in front of the stage, to the delight of a few headbangers at the front. The whole set was full of energy and great to watch.

Oak

 

Morag Tong provided a very different style of music to cap off the night: slow, low, atmospheric doomy stuff with long format numbers that seemed to blend and merge to create a continuous onslaught of great tones.

Morag Tong

I’ve loved both albums from these guys, and this isn’t the first time I’ve seen them since their second album, Last Knell of Om, was released. I recognised some of the music from that release tonight, but they are one of those bands that have a great drifting sound that at times sounds like the players are riffing and improvising over the dark and heavy riffs.

Morag Tong

There’s plenty of emotion and intricacy with a deep layer of darkness and melancholy beneath each phase. They’re a great live act to really listen to, and the Black Heart is a great venue sound-wise with the booming bass tones being accentuated.

Morag Tong
Morag Tong

Morag Tong are a great addition to a growing genre. Both of their albums are available on bandcamp, so head over there and check them out.