Postcard From Eden - James Morrison
See those white blobby things there? That's not genetically-engineered frogspawn, y'know. And it's not a legion of daleks having a camping holiday in the Cotswolds either. No, that right there is the Eden Project. It's a kind of theme park for plants, set in the heart of Cornish clay country, and is a genuinely brilliant place to stage a concert.
For starters there's the backdrop of those enormous domes, which are called 'biomes' (I think the name comes from a combination of the word 'dome' with the word 'bisexual', but I may be barking up the wrong tree there). Then there's the fact that the only way to get down to where the stage is is to walk down a windy path which zig-zags down a very steep hill like a drunken snowboarder.
So, seeing as it's such a startlingly odd place to host pop concerts, and because this year's Eden Sessions will boast performances from ChartBlog faves like Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, it's time to break out my best gig-reviewing pencil.
Last night was the first one, and saw James Morrison made a triumphant homecoming to his (kind of) native Cornwall. Pencil in hand, I went along to Eden to discover amazing facts to share with you all...
Amazing Fact 1:
The appeal of Eden is that it is actually like a massive garden (like the actual Garden Of Eden, but without the snakes), albeit one with the big Glastonbury-sized stage in the middle of it. Which makes going to see a concert there a bit like popping out of your own back door, and finding James Morrison doing a quick busk by the bins.
Amazing Fact 2:
James Morrison only gets nervous before a concert if he has a sore throat. This is because he can't tell if he's going to end up squeaking rather than emoting in a husky fashion. A nice cup of tea usually does the trick.
Amazing Fact 3:
There are two ladies at Eden whose job it is to welcome the press. They are BOTH called Jess. This is an example of recycling in action, and is therefore a VERY GOOD THING.
Amazing Fact 4:
James Morrison had to have a nap before his concert because he was pooped after the Diana concert the day before.
Amazing Fact 5:
Some gig venues have a creaking balcony, some gig venues have a sticky carpet. The Eden Project has a massive bee.
Amazing Fact 6 - THE BIG ONE:
Despite having a very nice voice indeed and some very nice songs indeed, James Morrison should not be allowed to speak in-between songs. At one point he launched into a long ramble about having been taken around the biomes, and he said this: "We had a look around inside there, and they've got this enormous seed. This next song is called 'The Seed', but it's not about THAT seed. I think they should paint that seed orange...well, that's just what I think, anyway...[to band] OK, let's do it..."
Seriously, Joss Stone talks more sense than that...
Oh, and there was a brilliant bit right at the end where he was talking about how his last song was the fastest, most rocky song he's got, and how everyone should shake their ass, strut their stuff and really GO WILD...and then he launched into a song which was exactly the same mid-tempo as the one before. Amazing!
That's it. Stay tuned for more amazing Eden facts in the next installment - a postcard from Rufus Wainwright...
Full concert details - plus actual close-up pics - at the BBC Cornwall website...