First Look: The Luck Of Eden Hall

Chicago's psychedelic stalwarts colour up Glasgow

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Psychedelic Chicago stalwarts The Luck Of Eden Hall have been producing well-crafted, shimmering waves of multi-coloured joy since the late 80s.

It’s disappointing, then, to see so few people here, on an unusually sunny early August evening – especially as they were brought back to Europe on the back of a successful crowdfunding campaign.

And once they take the stage, it initially appears they’re facing even more obstacles, with Jim Licka bravely battling pesky gremlins which seem to have taken up residency in his hired Mellotron. Fortunately, his clearly visible frustration at having to work through these technical hiccups disappear, leaving him and his bandmates Greg Curvey, Mark Lofgren and Carlos Mendoza free to carve out a largely upbeat set to keep the faithful few enthralled.

Sassafras Overcoat, from 2013’s Victoria Moon album, is an early highlight with its huge riffs helping to get the evening back into a groove. It’s swiftly followed by the soaring keyboard atmospherics of Dandy Horse from the same album.

The splendid A Drop In The Ocean, from their 2011 double album Butterfly Revolutions, is equally impressive, with its chunky guitars and swirling space rock keyboard flourishes conjuring Hawkwind-shaped patterns.

The wistful and mellow tones of Blood On My Feet provides a welcome change of pace, giving the band room to catch their breath after an eventful start.

It’s still unclear if they’re actually enjoying the experience of their Scottish visit, with nods towards the crowd kept to the absolute minimum. You really can’t blame them if they’re not, having to play to a small venue not even close to being half full. But smiles eventually appear, as the band members share a few laughs, before they to kick it up a notch with the fabulous feelgood vibes of The Happiness Vending Machine. This perfectly showcases what The Luck Of Eden Hall are all about: slabs of meaty guitar, delicious meandering keyboards, and ridiculously catchy beats.

The trippy Drunk Like Shakespeare On Love then floats along on woozy late-night Mellotron strokes, before upping the pace for its conclusion, with Curvey squeezing out sharp notes from his suitably psychedelic six-string.

It’s a fairly short set – although no-one’s feeling short-changed at the end of it, with some new-found fans seemingly surprised how competent the band are. Let’s just hope they tell friends, so that next time The Luck Of Eden Hall have a few more people waiting for them. They deserve a bigger audience.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.