Edie Bens @ The Folklore Rooms – 08/02/23
At times witty, sometimes sassy, but always heartfelt - personal stories of heartbreak and lessons in love translate into a wondrous headline show from rising star Edie Bens at The Folklore Rooms.
Like a portal into Narnia, a new secret bookshelf entrance (with thanks to the lovely people at Staropramen) invites you into a room of great music and company, and this February night was just that.
Supported by close friend and former uni housemate, Eden Farrow, who switches between honest guitar ballads to catchy pop-like synths with ease, it’s a fitting start to a night of indie-bedroom pop with friends. And by the way, she’s saving the real tea for the tabloids, but she can spare a bit of gossip from their uni years if you go and say hello!
The first of a stint of shows, Edie Bens admits her nerves at the beginning of her set whilst introducing herself and her band, but they seem to immediately disappear as she starts effortlessly into the first track Cashmere Sweaters, coolly criticising the subjects new high-flying, golf-playing, ‘cashmere sweater’ wearing life with an understated sincerity.
The band marries nicely with Bens’ voice, crystal clear with thanks to the new lighting and sound desk at the venue. All elements help create an atmosphere of dreamy enchantment, as the stage is flooded with a pink hue, that makes the fairy lights on the walls seem like stars in the night sky behind the band. This wouldn’t have been possible without funds awarded by Music Venue Trust's Pipeline Investment Fund, an essential part of the development of great independent music venues like The Folklore Rooms.
As the band groove along to the gentle melodies they play, you can’t help but follow their move and sway in your chair, as Bens encourages the crowd to do on her last song Dig Deep. It's something I was always going to do on my personal favourite, the second song of the set, Head Over Heels. There’s something cathartic about the feeling inspired when listening to this song. You can find solace in the fluctuating ups and downs of falling in love, that mirror the songs dynamics of lush, layered melodies with simpler moments where Bens’ delicate and flawless voice takes the lead.
This feeling was elevated as the chorus kicks in, resounding far beyond the decorated walls of Folklore and all I could do was smile and get lost in the feeling - inspired that even I too will ‘fall head over heels again’, though missing the ‘small things, cold coffee kisses in the morning’ still rings true.
As she introduces the last song, Bens announces her attempt at writing more reflective tunes, and proves her capability and breadth as a songwriter with Dig Deep, about looking within yourself to grow. Bens has a knack for writing ‘sad bops’ that while drawing on the past and inspire nostalgia, also inspire a sense of peace and hopefulness.
There were plenty of smiles in the room - some could be seen mouthing along as she played through her set and tender moments between couples were shared. For me, this is what makes these shows so special - catching the intimacy of the music, people’s affinity and personal relationships to the songs in a non-judgemental and serene setting.
The audience is whisked away in the emotion and passion that Bens sings with, listening intently and laughing to stories between songs, sharing with her moments of vulnerability and an exciting, defiant confidence that stays with you even when the night ends, and you must leave the quaint wonderland that is The Folklore Rooms.
Words by Etienne Ferenc
Folklore Sessions returns on the 21st February at The Folklore Rooms for its second monthly showcase of 2023. With music from Pela, Luca Wilding and Dan Millson.