Ian Brown at the Eden Sessions
The Eden Sessions were again superb, a fantastic venue and relaxed atmosphere. A friend of mine went to see Basement Jaxx the night before Ian Brown played, and said that the crowd were perfect.
Ian Brown was supported by Badly Drawn Boy and British Sea Power, and the whole evening was dedicated to a charity set up to help Kosovo. There was a young woman helping to raise awareness for the charity there, she had survived being shot 19 times.
I had not heard British Sea Power before, and was not really engaged by them until their final number. A man dressed as a moth-eaten bear came onto the stage, whereupon the band started to beat him up, and each other; swapping instruments and generally making a complete mess of the stage. That certainly got my attention. I have both of their albums now.
Badly Drawn Boy was excellent, but was playing to a crowd waiting for Ian Brown. This definitely affected his performance, but he still made the show for my wife and I. We saw him play at Eden two years ago, and have very good memories of the show.
The crowd unfortunately did not have the same memories, or much respect either. I can only assume that it was certain elements of Ian Brown's following that were causing the trouble, they were drunk on the way down to Eden, and just got worse. I have never seen any litter at the Eden Project before. They were very rowdy during the part of the show dedicated to the charity as well.
When Ian Brown came on, the crowd came alive. He has a presence. At one point he took off his jacket, and the crowd went wild, then went equally crazy as he put it back on.
He played most of his most popular records along with a couple of Stone Roses classics. All went down very well, although I feel that his solo music lacks something. About 60% of his material was attention grabbing, the rest was mediocre.
His percussionist is brilliant, the only other person on stage who drew any attention. The rest of the band could have been session musicians. But that did not matter too much, as Ian was so captivating. He held your attention, and has such a unique stage presence.
He, too, had trouble with the crowd, almost being hit by beer bottles thrown at him. He helped the bouncers to spot them in the crowd, and clapped as they were hauled out.
It was certainly a night to remember, and although not one of the best of the sessions, still better than anything else Cornwall has to offer on a normal basis - concert wise.