Live Review: The Eden House, Simon Hinkler, Oak, Ghost Of Lemora

By on 29 June 2011

The Eden House + Simon Hinkler + Oak
Eddies, Birmingham

Photos by JY Marquis

Whether it’s the early start time, small size of the venue or another factor – the first band at Eddie’s usually draws a sparse crowd. Unfortunately for Oak, this was the case last Friday. Personally I attribute this to the nicely laid out chairs and tables that circle the dance floor – a strange choice, given that this is a rock club. As Oak play a set that echoes their last offering here, back in December with Die So Fluid, one can’t help but feel that they deserve more than a near-empty dance floor. Still, Kleon’s vocals are superb and their cover of ‘Mad World’, now a staple part of the Oak set, goes down well with the seated audience.



The Mission, Artery and Pulp are just three of the bands that have been fortunate enough to include Simon Hinkler. With an exciting career that spans twenty-plus years, anniversary shows with The Mission in October and a handful of acoustic gigs, he is an extremely busy and hot in demand man. It takes somebody special to slot seamlessly in between industrial electro-metal and ethereal dreamscape goth rock, but Simon Hinkler is more than up to the task. His lyrics, stage presence and delivery are a feat to behold. Simon has always kept his music fresh and innovative, this extends to his acoustic performance. The audience are respectfully quiet, hanging onto each line and lapping up his poetry. An excellent set from a well-established musician.



It’s often been said that The Eden House are not so much a band, but rather a musical coalition. This view is held, for the most part, due to the absence of a lead vocalist. On CD this hasn’t affected the hauntingly beautiful music Stephen Carey and Tony Pettitt have meticulously crafted. Fortunately, from the off, it is apparent that their live show cuts just as deeply with spheres of goth-infused, melodic licks with haunting and powerful vocals, courtesy of Amandine Ferrari and Valenteen. As the band play through a mixture of old and new material, the vocalists sway in harmony and the fans break out into human towers, headbanging and nods. Both the music and the crowd are eclectic tonight, which nods towards the increasingly wide appeal of The Eden House. As their set ends and Eddie’s club night begins, their sound and message is firmly imprinted on the mind of everybody in the building.



The Eden House + Simon Hinkler + Ghost of Lemora
The Lexington, London

Following the glammy slightly post-punk Ghost Of Lemora whose set was short but energetic, Simon Hinkler delivered a tidy acoustic set full of good humour, glad tidings and a few tracks from the ‘Lose The Faith’ album. However, every acoustic set runs the risk of people not actually hearing it and taking it as read that they can talk over it, loudly. If the small handful of drunk yackers at the back had shut up they would have heard thought-provoking renditions of ‘It Isn’t You’, ‘Here In This Place’, ‘Effigy’, ‘Don’t You Know’, ‘One Man Show’, ‘Drop In The Ocean’, ‘Still Waiting’, and ‘Diceman’. I would love to hear this set again, possibly in a situation whereby one has the chance to sit down and absorb the content with like-minded people. However, if Simon Hinkler heard the banter at the back he, forever the artist, cracked on and delivered this fine and thoughtful set, gaining more friends and fans as he did so.



The Eden House headlined this gig at The Lexington, a rather nice Camden venue with a pub downstairs and a quite decent but small music venue upstairs. There was a good sized stage that didn’t make a larger band like The Eden House look cramped, the sound guy was the audience’s friend as ears weren’t left ringing because of ridiculous decibel levels and the lighting, although giving a distinct impression of everything being pink, was rather nice.

The band themselves were superb. Ammandine Ferrari using her soulful and slightly rock-style voice to amazing effect, along with Valenteen whose voice was a beautiful contrast to that of Ammandine’s. Their set was a mixture of older tracks such as ‘Dark Half’, ‘All My Love’, ‘Iron InThe Soul’, ‘Sin’, ‘Trashed Treasures’ and the iconic ‘To Believe In Something’ from ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ and newer material. A particularly fine performance was also given by Valenteen in ‘Reach Out’, sung as a solo. Unfortunately due to time constraints a new track had to be dropped from the encore. The wall of sound that is The Eden House and the ever-changing line-up means that each new singer gives a slightly different feel to that of the recorded version which keeps the whole thing alive and fluid. What was very clear from the audience’s point of view is that there is a genuine bond and respect between the group of friends on stage.
Recommended viewing.






About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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