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The Raconteurs 29/06/2008


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The Raconteurs 29/06/2008

OK, this gig was immense. Largely helped by the venue, which was the Eden Project in Deepest Darkest Cornwall (actually, it's not too far from Devon, but you're already pretty deep 'n' dark there :P). This place, for those that don't know, is a big old quarry which has been turned into a huge garden, with two massive 'bio-domes', the bigger of the two being full of 'properly' foreign plants, from the tropics and the like, that would never usually grow in Cornwall, and the smaller being a Mediterranean based one. When you buy a ticket to an Eden Session you get entry for a day to the whole project, so me and my friend turned up early to chill out and check the place out for a while. Well worth doing. [if you want more description of the Eden project then leave me a comment and I'll add to it, I just feel it's somewhat out of place in a gig review to describe a giant garden - there are plenty of pics :P]

The stage is placed in front of a 'natural' amphitheater - seeing as the whole thing has been majorly landscaped in the last 10-15 years it's natural in the 'it's a banked area covered in grass with no seats' way. It's surprisingly small (5,000) considering the size of the Eden Project, but it's quite nice because you get both the small and slightly more intimate feeling of (most) indoor gigs, but with the scale of the surroundings and outdoor factor making it feel like a huge festival! Another good side of gigs at Eden is that you get to buy the very hard to find outside of Cornwall 'Rattler Cyder' and the Eden Projects own beer to enjoy with the delicious food... It was hard not to buy more than one of the roast pork and Eden Project apple chutney in a bun!

The support act was Vampire Weekend - fresh from Glastonbury (as were the Raconteurs) - who had a nice intro from someone from the Eden Project (top bloke maybe? Or possibly the sessions organiser?) about how Eden don't book headliners with support acts, they book a headliner and then another headliner to go with them! This seemed to be proven as they had a good amount of crowd support, everyone (except me) seemed to know and like them! After a couple of songs I found myself really starting to enjoy them too, I couldn't work out if the quality of song was getting better, or if it was just me 'clicking' into their groove, but I've certainly added them to my 'listen to later, and maybe buy a CD' list.

After a 30 minute interval (which was needed just to find the toilets, especially after getting a little lost chasing my mate through the willow maze thingy...) The Raconteurs made their way on stage. I've no idea what they started with, but I think it was off the first album, and was cool, but I'm fairly certain they then played one (of a majority) from the new album. This new album was recorded and released quite secretively, and I only found out by accident, when I went to buy the first album, and there were two on the shelf! Because of this I was quite apprehensive of how well the new stuff would go down - I think the new album is the better of the two, but how many people would a) know about it and B) agree?! Happily for me, either they were happy to hear new material live (it sounded awesome) or they knew it as everything went down a storm.

The lights were pretty special, as not only was there a cool silhouette background piece of trees, and funky on stage lighting, but once it got a bit dark they turned on the Eden only special lighting: Yup, the bio-domes look AWESOME with some pretty lighting on! :) It makes it feel like your at a gig on Mars really very cool... When the lighting is combined with such great music as The Raconteurs were ripping out, you can't really go wrong - from the older classics like 'Steady As She Goes' and 'Level' To the new and more rocky songs like 'Salute Your Solution' and 'Attention' (that song has a really great bass riff for an intro... Great fun to play!) it was incredibly happy making. In fact apparently every time my mate looked at me I had a huge ear to ear grin apparently! The first part of their show was brought to an end with a nice extended version of 'Blue Veins', which we all loved, and somewhat left me wondering how they were gonna top that for a show ender.

For the encore (which the crowd were most deserving of, once again, I'm beginning to believe undeserving crowds are dying out finally! :)) they brought out yet more new stuff, as well as a couple more oldies (I think it was a 5 song encore). They did also manage to top 'Blue Veins' as an awesome finale - the final song on the new album 'Carolina Drama' is an awesome piece of, well, storytelling (living up to their name), and they extended it in all the right ways, and left us (or at least me) with a really enthused and inspired feeling at the end of the night, especially as we walked back up out of the quarry, and looked back to see both bio-domes (right down at the front of the stage you can only see the small dome, but that's plenty good enough really) glowing, some spotlights playing on the sky, and the thousands of people who had been enjoying it all with us.

I would strongly advise going to a Raconteurs gig, and a gig at the Eden project, if the two are combined again, I'll see you there! :D

Photos are now online! :D There are a number ones from the pre-gig wandering, because I am pleased with them, and it all added the the general atmosphere...

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