Eden Sessions 2006 – Way Back Reviews

Sunday 27th August 2006

As the Eden Sessions come to another close for the year at St Austell, Cornwall, the organisers can be safein the knowledge that this year was another triumph. With its spectacular setting and laid back atmosphere, the Eden Project makes for one of the UKs more enjoyable gig going experiences, and this year has been no exception; climaxing tonight with a life affirming performance from Snow Patrol.
First up Rocco Delucca puts in an eclectic sounding performance, a much more live and loud set than his tender singer/songwriter credentials may have you believe; and as he climaxes with a Neu! inspired tribal explosion of noisy guitars and noisier drumbeats, this is a performer who recalls the glory days of Can as much as anyone else, intriguing stuff.

Next up, Liam Frost and The Slowdown Family turn in an equally joyous turn as the evening draws in and Eden’s groovy light show begins to work its magic. Liam Frost is a Manchester singer/songwriter who mixes the heartfelt warmth of The Waterboy’s Mike Scott with the humanistic edge of Badly Drawn Boy, belting out his songs in a rich sounding voice that reaches right to the very top of the venue.
Running through an energised version of new single, THE CITY IS AT A STANDSTILL, Frost and his band inspire the first ripples of feelgood moshpit action of the evening whilst the more tender likes of THE MOURNERS OF ST PAUL’S and THIS IS LOVE prove the buzz about this singer/songwriter are spot on; someone who you’re going to be hearing a lot more about over the coming year.

Coming on to rapturous applause, SNOW PATROL are onto something of a win/win situation here tonight; the mixture of spectacular venue, appreciative audience and killer songs proving a heady brew. As the likes of SPITTING GAMES, CHASING CARS and HOW TO BE DEAD ring around the venue, its clear that Snow Patrol are at the top of their game; frontman Gary Lightbody in particular cutting an enthusiastic and charming figure, talking to the audience throughout and adding to the warm atmosphere.

Always a much more vital and energised proposition live than they can come across on their records, Snow Patrol are a band built for events like this; and as they run through songs like the electric sounding TINY LITTLE FRACTURES and SOMEWHERE A CLOCK IS TICKING, even the most cynical person out there can’t fail to raise a small smile of appreciation. Of course, RUN proves the biggest highlight of the evening; perhaps even managing to become the perfect Eden moment as the spectacular lightshow, mass singalong, surreal surroundings and general feelgood atmosphere collide into five minutes of unbridled joy and love. The following blast through of YOU’RE ALL I HAVE can only come as something of an anticlimax in comparison; but as the band leave the stage to thunderous applause once more, its crystal clear that tonight has seen Snow Patrol on spectacular form; preaching to the converted perhaps, but thrilling stuff nonetheless.


Whether its just something in the air tonight or the fact that the intimate and personal don’t always translate to the great outdoors, the magic doesn’t quite materialise at the Eden Sessions this Saturday. Considering the stunning setting of giant space age biodomes and rolling countryside, the laid back attitude of the audience and the quality of the performers, it’s an altogether strange atmosphere really.
As talented and mesmerising a performer as Jose Gonzalez undoubtedly is, there’s something lacking when you transplant one man, an acoustic guitar and a songbook of hushed intensity to an open air field on a sunny afternoon in August. Running through the glorious likes of HEARTBEATS and CROSSES, Gonzalez is on typically intense and intimate form; fingerpicking his battered acoustic guitar with an almost inhuman excellence and fluidity, his place as a mediterranean Nick Drake goes unquestioned. It’s a beautiful and mesmerising, if a little muted performance this afternoon though, and as he closes with a trio of inspired cover versions; Bronski Beat, Kylie, Massive Attack, Jose Gonzalez leaves things on a sublime if just a little hushed high.

Taking to the stage to a rapturous reception, The Magic Numbers are perhaps one of the perfect Eden Sessions bands; their hippy demeanour and feel good pop echoing the surroundings perfectly. Playing a mixture of songs old and new tonight, the band run through their set with a giddy joy and wearing those trademark mile wide grins on their faces. The likes of FOREVER YOUNG, MORNINGS ELEVEN, LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO and LONG LEGS are the obvious highpoints, but its the new material that proves the more exciting and promising; proving that there’s much, much more to come from The Magic Numbers for album number two.

Against a backdrop depicting giant cartoon versions of themselves, this is a band that you can never feel anything but good vibes and love for, and as the night draws in and the spectacular Eden light show takes place; you feel that The Magic Numbers may have found a spiritual home here tonight. Whilst a great show and a heart warming performance, you can’t quite shake the feeling that like Jose Gonzalez, The Magic Numbers perhaps suit the more intimate venue also, the kind of band that lose something when viewed from the back of a field, the kind of band that needs that human contact and audience connection. As they climax with a sublime and beautiful rendition of WHEELS ON FIRE though, you can sense Romeo Stoddart and bands glowing smiles from miles around and whilst this may not be The Magic Numbers most spectacular show, its still a gloriously heart warming moment here tonight.

Snow Patrol - Eden Sessions 2006

Part of our Way Back reviews from the team at Festival Diaries

Many of us here at FD have enjoyed countless festivals in the UK and abroad which have left indelible incredible memories which we hope we can share with our visitors who may have missed them and or may not have here yet!