After knowing each other for so long, Rick Astley finally comes to the Eden Sessions

CHAOS Radio - Eden Sessions Rick Astley
Picture: Joe Allen; Rick Astley illuminated by his Eden Sessions glow

Wednesday night saw one of the most eagerly anticipated acts of the 2024 Eden Sessions, Rick Astley, take to the stage with an outstandingly eclectic mix of classic hits, soulful covers and new material from his latest album ‘Are We There Yet’.

The Brit award winning artist put on a performance to rival his critically acclaimed set at last year’s Glastonbury, with the added magic of the world-famous Biomes.

As the afternoon’s mizzle gave way to blue skies, it seemed fitting that special guests, The Lightning Seeds, opened with ‘Change’.

It was a set of the band’s greatest hits including ‘Lucky You’, ‘Pure’, ‘Life of Riley’ and of course the iconic football anthem ‘Three Lions’ that got the crowd singing – although this reporter isn’t quite sure how it would have gone down if England had been knocked out of Euro 2024 last Sunday.

Rick walked out to rapturous applause and started the show with ‘Never Gonna Stop’, a soulful track from the new album, before taunting the crowd.

He asked “are you up for it?” before adding, “well, you’re gonna get it” and launching straight into ‘Together Forever’ from his best-selling album ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’.

A little comedic rant about people not knowing what an album is any more followed – ‘as all we seem to do these days is shout at a box in the kitchen’ – before blaming his mood on the ‘jägers kicking in’.

“Is anyone dancing? I’m 58 and in cowboy boots, so I’m probably not insured for this,” he said before launching into ‘Dance with Me’, a version that saw backing singers Lauren Johnson and Dawn Joseph add a cover of Lizzo’s ‘Juice’ into the mix.

Slowing things down a bit, CHAOS Radio captured the moment as he sympathised with the male audience – ‘as men tend to get dragged to my gigs’ – giving them the opportunity to have a cuddle with whoever brought them when singing ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’, a song that got the crowd swaying as the sun set on the biomes.

The conversation then turned to his wife, Lene, how they have been together since 1987 and married for ten years, as he comically launched into ‘Driving Me Crazy’, another track from his latest album, released in October of 2023.

Next came a cover of Sam Fender’s ‘Seventeen Going Under’, which got a fantastic reception. One crowd member had a request but after explaining that they are ‘not a covers band’ and ‘we are not in a pub’, Rick performed a version of Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’ which got the crowd jumping.

Backing singers Lauren and Dawn were soon centre stage again and wowed the crowd with their powerful soulful voices during ‘Cry For Help’.

More good-humoured banter with the crowd followed, with somebody shouting an inaudible grunt, which Rick mistook as ‘I love you Rick’, a quote he asked everyone to repeat before responding: “That is very kind of you.”

An energetic audience enjoys Wednesday’s Eden Session, headlined by Rick Astley
Picture: Joe Allen

After a rendition of ‘Dance’ from his comeback album ‘50’, he thanked The Eden Project team for inviting them to play in such an ‘iconic location’, ‘all the people wearing hi-vis for keeping everyone safe’, and his crew for ‘setting up the stage in the early hours’.

It was then time for something from the 80s, as he sung ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ which turned neatly into a cover of Chic’s ‘Good Times’ as the lighting in the biomes sprung into life, providing the most awesome disco atmosphere and unique visuals.

Rick took to the drums towards the end of the night, belting out AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ before throwing his sticks into the crowd and missing, claiming to be turning into Coldplay’s Chris Martin as he climbed off the stage to retrieve one.

The last song of the night was of course ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, with Rick letting the audience sing it first before performing what is undeniably one of the most recognised songs of all time.

It brought to an end a masterclass in showmanship, full of good humour, excellent music and some well needed nostalgia, brought to Cornwall by one of the country’s best loved festival favourites.

There are just two more Eden Sessions for 2024:

• Friday July 5, Tom Grennan

• Saturday July 13, JLS plus special guest Tinchy Stryder

To find out more and book the last remaining tickets, visit