Review: EDEN at Hoxton Courtyard Theatre, London

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After dropping an extended EP entitled End Credits in August 2015 on his own record label MCMXCV, EDEN’s rise to viral success has been well deserved. Previously known as The Eden Project, Jonathon Lei Ming adopted his new alias EDEN at the start of last year after experimenting with his sound and settling on a mix of indie pop and classic electronic dance. Following 4.5 million (and counting) plays on SoundCloud, EDEN recently embarked on his first sold out tour, kicking off in his hometown of Dublin and stopping off for the next UK date at little-known venue the Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton.

Beginning with fan favourite and title track from EDEN’s sophomore EP, ‘End Credits’, the crowd eagerly joined in, despite the unbelievable heat and the late hour of a Wednesday night. Midway through the song, the nerves clearly got to the young Irish musician and he actually came in for the drop too early – quick to recover from the embarrassment, and with much amusement from the all-forgiving crowd, the rest of the set resumed with no more hiccups and the mistake merely served as a reminder of how fresh EDEN’s music really is.

Every track showcased the solo artist’s impressive musical talent – during the show he played drums, guitar and keyboard, as well as singing, and even featured his pre-recorded violin playing. EDEN also included two covers in his set, his previously released version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’, which is always a firm crowd-pleaser, and an unheard cover of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’, which again brought an old-school vibe to the evening and had the audience descending into dancing.

The high point of the night was the performance of EDEN’s most popular single to date, ‘XO’, a song that is a must on anyone’s summer playlist and is sure to be used in the next Google Chrome advert. Singing louder than the man himself, the swarm of fans in the audience momentarily forgot the intense heat of the venue and willed the song to never end. Rounding off the show with ‘Wake Up’, EDEN’s flair for song writing also shined through: in a potential reference to the next leg of his tour taking place in America where he “heard the streets are gold”, he describes himself as “chasing dreams like [he’s] on Novocain”, suggesting his appreciation for his success and loyal fan base. The only criticism for the entire show was that EDEN didn’t return onstage with an encore to play ‘drowning.’, another much-loved track.

 

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