|Utrecht (NL) 04 August 2007
translated by Cobie and her brother, thank you very much!!
Saturday, 11 august, 2007
Shivering with a musical preacher of doom
by Remco van Mulligen.
Last Saturday the preacher of doom of the music world preached in Tivoli, Utrecht.
The man , grandson of an orthodox-methodistic vicar, sat on a stool on the stage, but nevertheless imposed the audience.
His apocalyptic music and the threatening sound of his voice unmistakable affected the observer.
Many a Christian who treads in a more alternative music sphere, shivers
when he hears his name: David Eugene Edwards , frontman of Woven Hand.
These shivers come mainly from his personality and the overwhelming power of the music approaching them.
In spite of his clear Christian lyrics, Edwards can count many non-Christians as his fans.
They put up with the lyrics, or better: they accept the
fact that the lyrics mainly consist of incomprehensible Christian
For the slight melancholic Christian it’s mystical poetry which sometimes reminds of the psalms.
The start of the third album, Consider the Birds, of Woven Hand is an
example: ‘Holy King cause my skin to crawl/ away from every evil
thing’and than the exclamation ‘in a cotton mouth, in a
cotton mouth/quick across the water bring’.
Sometimes even a Christian can’t understand these lyrics.
Edwards has, since he married as a teenager, left behind the
methodistic faith of his grandfather and he adhered to a more
individualistic, evangelical belief.
His choice for an uncommon but clear Christian style is a very conscious one.
He doesn’t like the bulk of the Christian music, because often the musical creativity is
subordinated to the message.
Edwards means to praise the Lord by his creativity and he considers his talent as God-given.
For Christians who don’t count the average Christan music like
Delirious?, DC Talk or Michael W. Smith much, Woven hand is a relief:
it combines challenging music with a message to which they fully can
confirm in accordance with their belief, they even can sing along
loudly with this music.
David Eugene Edwards became known as the creative driving force behind
the American-French band 16 Horsepower which was mainly popular in the
Netherlands and in Belgium.
Their music reminds of, among others, Joy Division, Nick Cave, who also has strong Christian influences in his lyrics.
As genre both 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand are difficult to categorize,
influences of country and Native American music are clearly present,
not surprising because Edwards roots lie in Denver Colorado.
Some songs have the rhythm and the guitar- riffs we know from the punk music.
Other songs are melody’s borrowed from the middle ages or the folk-music.
Edwards gladly uses ( in pop-music ) uncommon instruments like the banjo, bandonion, mandolin and the organ.
The style is energetic and the lyrics sometimes remind of hell and damnation sermons, sometimes of inner struggle and salvation.
In 2005, after some sluggish years, 16 horsepower came to an end, officially because of
‘political and religious differences’. The other band
members felt they lost their own identity because of the dominant
Christian image Edwards gave to the band.
By that time Woven Hand already had released three albums,: Woven Hand
( 2002 ), Blush Music ( 2003 ) and Consider the Birds ( 2004 ). In 2006
followed by Mosaic.
The style was unmistakable the one of 16 horsepower with nonetheless
one important difference: Edwards now used mainly acoustic instruments.
That makes the music more mysterious.
The emphasis falls more on the nuances and on the lyrics.
The first album can be considered as a fine start, but Edwards
becomes really sublime on ‘Consider the Birds’:
banjo, guitar, piano, organ, violin, all instruments are perfectly in
and the lyrics are poetic and challenging.
On Mosaic unfortunately the level descends.
Of course the diehard fan never gets enough of the music, but to the
rest of his public this album is more of the same, little renovation
and sometimes even a little flat.
That flatness must be a cardinal sin for such an intense person as Edwards.
Again he was intense during his performance in Tivoli. His face showed
fanaticism and sitting on his stool he succeeded in delivering
Although the band faded in his presence, just what happened to16
Horsepower too, Edwards in all his dominance isn’t an uncongenial
However, what lacks during a live-show is diversification in instruments and the sense of detail:
the music, delicate on the studio albums, mashed in a grinder of electric guitars and drums.
Mainly there was very much sound. The visitor of a concert should be prepared for this disappointment.
The more -straight ahead- songs like ‘Winter Shaker’ sounded very good and more than survived this treatment.
Who hears Edwards roar ‘All his Glory!’and ‘EEE-halle-holla-lujah’ should feel shivers somewhere.
The ceremony was closed worthy by the reverend, who forgot to thank his
band, but respectful looked upwards and with folded hands praised the