Borrell provides a golden touch for fans at the Eden Project

Eden Sessions 2009 review

published: Tue 14th Jul 2009

Razorlight

Saturday 4th to Saturday 18th July 2009
Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG, England MAP
£40
last updated: Mon 15th Jun 2009

As far as outdoor gigs go you can't find a nicer setting than the Eden Project. Nestled in South Cornwall just outside St Austell the Eden project has, for almost 10 years, delighted locals and tourists alike by playing host to many major artists such as Muse, The Verve and Snow Patrol.

around the Eden Sessions
As a venue, from an audience point of view, it doesn't get much sweeter. Surrounded by lush well cultivated landscape within a small idyllic valley, it is very much like attending a performance in tellietubby land. The venue seems small and intimate although apparently has a 3,000 audience capacity and it seems as though no matter where you stand you will be offered a fantastic view of the band. The biggest negative though, as with any outdoor venue in Britain, is that it is susceptible to our unpredictable English climate.

That said, tonight the weather is perfect; calm, dry, mild and unlikely to rain at any point. About half an hour before sunset the band saunter onto the stage and open with a bang playing 'Back To The Start'. Front man Johnny Borrell is dressed in skinny black jeans, blue denim shirt with a scarf and sunglasses and leans over the microphone looking like the rock god stereotype against the comparatively plain looking co-band members.

The audience sing all the words, front row girls swoon and Borrell shakes and gesticulates. The Eden Project sound system is a top quality setup and has to be after so much funding went into the site and it's position in terms of a prestigious global tourist attraction. Razorlight rapidly plough through their material as many of their songs fall short of the three minutes mark but it's this short snappy energy that gives them their appeal. Borrell's live vocals are superb and give more energy to the live performance alongside his Mick Jagaresque mannerisms whilst, in contrast, guitarist Bjorn Sten Agren looks as bored as any person could possible be.

It's all going to plan, no upsets, nothing out of the ordinary, just a solid band performance. "This is fantastic" says Borrell "Can we play here every night?"

The moment comes for 'America' which stands aside from the majority of their pop singles. This is the bands stadium rock song. It's an atmospheric anthem that seems to suit a big venue, maybe even bigger than the Eden Project. Then it's onto some more new material, 'Hostage of Love'. The new material isn't as accessible as the songs from the first two albums and whilst they fall into place live alongside the older tracks they perhaps wouldn’t hold up so well on their own.

Razorlight
After sixteen or so songs they end the gig with 'Don't Go Back To Durlston', an appropriate and energetic finale to an audience who are surely now satisfied. You can love or hate Razorlight, and it seems opinion is often divided, but when you see groups of friends with their arms around each other singing every word to their songs you can't forget that this is what popular music is about, it's about memorable songs that speak to the masses and people can sing along to.

In terms of the value for money offered by going to gigs at the Eden Project you must decide how much you want to see the park itself. Tickets for gigs offer free entry the following day and for many who don't want to or can't take advantage of this then it's surely appealing only to locals who would rather not drive to Plymouth or beyond to see the larger bands. Lets be honest £35 isn't a cheap ticket but it may be the last chance to see Razorlight in England for some time.

On leaving the venue is an uphill climb out of the valley, which will probably make or break a few people especially those that have had a few too many beers, then a wait for the bus to the car park or another uphill walk for those who don't want to wait.

The night has been good but factors such as the walk, temperature and rain would could have a massive impact on the quality of a night there but there is no need to dwell on such things in a country where these good nights don't come often enough.

around the Eden Sessions
review by: Richard Potter

photos by: Richard Potter

Saturday 4th to Saturday 18th July 2009
Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG, England MAP
£40
last updated: Mon 15th Jun 2009


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