By Charlotte Gay
July 11, 2012
“Noah and the Whale? More like Noah’s ark!” said one of the wittier members of the crowd as the rain came lashing down onto the tops of the exposed heads. Nevertheless, when the five piece indie folk band entered the stage the crowd’s enthusiasm was not dampened, as ‘Life is Life’ proceeded to energise the masses.
Fulfilling all expectations of recognised formal attire, Chris Fink led the group in slim fitting suits, ties and waistcoats – so much so even the roadies followed suit in tailored outfits. Not too put off by the rain, Chris roused the crowds into popular sing-alongs with their classics like ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N’, ‘Give a Little Love’ and ‘Give It All Back’, while to prancing almost like a dainty antelope on the front stage platforms.
Despite the lack of Laura Marling’s charming vocals, the summer time tune ’5 Years’ Time’ had by far the biggest crowd response of the set, with the audience going crazy for the child like fun lyrics of their first single. With it being the first time Noah and the Whale have performed at the Eden ground,s the band couldn’t help but comment on the ‘magnificence’ of the scenery with Chris playfully suggesting a water fight in the blazing heat of the jungle biomes.
This was unlike The Vaccines‘ lead singer Justin Young, who in the set before Noah and the Whale revelled in the fact he was performing on the same stage that he had once watched Pulp perform on, back in 2002.
After only releasing their debut album, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines, the crowd found it no trouble finding the words to belt out along with the West Londoners. Justin played the ace indie rock front man, confidently making use of the entire stage as they began their opening number ‘Wrecking Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’.
Rocking the denim look the lads had the throngs of captive listeners bouncing along to favourites like ‘Post Break-Up Sex’, ‘Norgaard’ and ‘Wetsuit’ – no the irony of the weather was not lost. Even when the band snuck in their soon to be new single ‘Ghost Town’, often seen as the beer break time for some, the crowd failed to lose their energy. Someone even succeeded to persuade Justin to do the honours of announcing an eminent proposal in the crowds –the answer we are yet to find out.
With the Eden Project itself being a charity, it was hardly unwelcome that contributing to the festival atmosphere of the day the Biotik stage, set up in one of Eden’s iconic biomes, was hosted by MaK performers. Manchester Aid to Kosovo was set up in 1999 during the height of the ethnic cleansing campaign, and presented musicians throughout the day including Karmia Francis and The Travelling Band. The intimate stage captured the attentions of their own sizable audiences whilst promoting the Mak compilation album Ten featuring great Manchester artists.
Finishing off this year’s Eden Sessions, both headliners and the entire festival atmosphere reminds us of how the Eden Project hosts one of the best stages to see your favourite musicians take to the stage – even in the traditional British weather.