The Eden sessions are a result of an apparent stroke of genius from whoever takes the title of ‘powers that be’ at the Eden Project.
Not only is it a majestic and thoroughly modern feat of sci-fi inspired engineering, it bears an air of friendly humour and not so ‘in your face’ campaigning and research for eco-friendly alternatives to the way we live. The Biomes are truly impressive, informative and inspirational. On an ordinary day I could say with complete confidence that there is something for everyone at the Eden Project, but an extraordinary day there is truly astonishing.
I chose the Folk Sessions because I am a lover of folk music, but the lure of comedians like Tim Minchin and acts like Example, Plan B, Chase and Status… (the list goes ever on) made it a very difficult choice indeed!
What an idea? Festivals without the all the bad stuff… Although admittedly the bad stuff is all part of the experience: mud, the stench of porta loos, sleep deprivation… The one-day festival has all the fun, excitement and memory making without the serious knock to your immune system. On top of that the Eden Project has some of the most beautiful and diverse environments you could hope to find within driving distance. My day included a few hours of wandering through tropical rainforest, the cooler Mediterranean climate and our own glorious (if a little wet) British summer. The gentle assault on your senses is interspersed with facts and figures designed to get you thinking, perhaps placing hope in the merit of Christian Bovee’s words “It is the nature of thought to find its way into action”.
I was also lucky enough to sample the organic cuisine of the Eden restaurant and, as an added bonus, enjoyed one of the best affordable meals I have had opposite the man I had journeyed all this way to see! Frank Turner sat on the table opposite, graciously giving autographs and posing awkwardly for photos. The poor lad doesn’t seem to handle the fame all that comfortably and long may that attitude endure. I refrained from venturing over and disturbing his meal, I felt lucky enough to have encountered him at this distance.
The acts kicked off with Mull Historical Society who have a great mix of genres and influences, somewhere between psychedelic soft-rock and heartfelt indi-folk. The next act gave Frank Turner a run for his money in terms of performance. Seth Lakeman, and his accompanying band truly kicked the atmosphere up a few gears. Their strong modern feel with roots firmly set into the lifeblood of all that is inspirational and folktastic within the genre of folk music knocked my socks off.
Seth himself is a true musician and lyricist, and the whole band adds a delicious cocktail of multitalented diversity.
The next band that made an impact on me was a negative one, although Bellowhead were phenomenally talented they did not tickle my pickle. I found that the vocals didn’t weave into the complex melodies of the 10+ strong band, in fact, the set would have been much better without the unintelligible singer who seemed to have roots in opera rather than anything resembling folk music. But a lot of the crowd enjoyed so perhaps it is just my personal taste.
This energetic anticlimax was followed by the melancholy and rhythmic sound of Stornoway, they hail from an island in the north of Scotland but, oddly enough, not from the island from which they take their name. The penultimate act brought the mood down sweet and low ready for the headline act.
I am a relatively new fan of Frank Turner but his powerful voice, catchy melodies, profound metaphors and ‘punk rock sense of honesty’ make him undeniably English in his sound. And it is great to hear an English sound in our ever deteriorating music industry, influences from across the pond have would be British artists pandering to the style of our colonial cousins.
The performance was all I could have hoped for and as the rain began to pour the atmosphere became electric. The man and his backing band The Sleeping Souls played magnificently and topped off one the best days out/gigs/festival I have ever been to. All I can advise is that you attend next year, I will see you there.
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