Edensong at The Ruby Lounge: Live Review
Words: Phil Weller | Photos: Anthony Firmin
Jazz-addled, math rock infused and piano led, Leeds’ Voronoi open tonight’s proceedings with something of a mental workout. Off-kilter grooves, which come out with a really unique intensity when Aleks Podraza travels down the lower octaves on his keyboard and a water tight rhythm section make this experimental trio a highly impressive prospect. Leeds seems to be producing some incredible bands of late and these avant garde funsters are right up there with their city’s finest.
One of their first hometown performances since the release of their second album, Where The Moonlight Snows, Mothertongue, there’s a new romanticism and greater 60s rock airiness to their sound now. Guitarist/vocalist Louis Smith is, as ever, an engaging frontman and his witty lyrics paint their own colourful stories and landscapes atop acoustic guitars, clean electrics and a sizzling injection of trumpet to shake up their textural whole. At points upbeat and bouncing along with smiles on their faces and at others slower, aptly bathing in a musical moonlight, there is something quite poetic about a band that needs to get gigging more. The world needs more Mothertongue.
It’s been two years since New Yorkers Edensong released their last record. On stage many miles from home, Years In The Garden Of Years makes an intriguing live experience with its wistful amalgamation of Final Fantasy music, Jethro Tull worship and a subtle helping of Dream Theater inspired progressive metal. It’s been ten years too since their debut release, The Fruit Fallen announced the band’s arrival to the world and across their headline set they dip into both records as a celebration of their career so far.
Tonight they are tight and clearly very comfortable with each other and even though they make the most of DI-ing their instruments, it actually cleans up their sound really nicely, allowing the koto – an intriguing and excitingly different traditional Japanese instrument used in lieu of keyboards – to really cut through the mix.
Tracks like Cold City bore a restrained metallic edge which allowed the mix to still breathe freely while still upping the gears, its peaks and troughs well balanced throughout. End Times In Retrospect was amass with deft time signature acrobatics and the near ten minute The Sixth Day, from The Fruit Fallen, oozed many a classic prog hallmark across its expansive playtime, giving it much to divulge and enjoy. Combine all that with some crystalline clean guitars, fanciful flute and atmospheric drum work courtesy of Nick DiGregorio, and you have a versatile and gregarious band who cleverly add together the sum of their parts to equal a far greater and well rounded whole.