Folk artist Seth Lakeman has pushed folk music into the limelight in recent years. With the likes of Mumford and Sons exploding into the folk music scene, Seth Lakeman is a refreshing reminder that sometimes things are best kept simple. Lakeman keeps true to the genre by writing interesting and heart felt stories and placing these into traditionally layered folk songs which people can’t help but fall in love with.
The best thing about Seth Lakeman is that these songs come across particularly well when performed live. Their rawness and edginess are captured perfectly when heard live.
And what better place to perform such music than in a converted church. Trinity Church in Bristol’s recently rejuvenated Old Market was an immaculate place for Seth Lakeman and his band to take to the stage with songs from the newest recording, Tales From The Barrel House.
As the church began to fill with people, everyone started shuffling around eager for Seth Lakeman to make his appearance after a prolonged wait outside. After his superb support act, Sam Carter, who recently won the Horizon Award for Best Newcomer at the 2010 BBC Folk Awards, Seth Lakeman finally blessed the audience with his presence.
Recent singles More Than Money and Blacksmith’s Prayer were the first numbers to be played and instantly livened up the varied crowd. Having been originally recorded using tools and objects found in a barrel house in Morwellham Quay in Devon, the songs were rearranged to be performed live and nothing felt like it was missing. Lakeman apologised for bombarding his fans straight away with songs from the newest recording before he began to slip in a few older tracks such as John Lomas, Changes and Take No Rogues.
Within the first few songs, Lakeman began to show off his abilities by playing the ukulele, banjo, mandolin and fiddle all of which he played superbly well with enough passion to get his audience swaying, singing and generally ecstatic.
His live version of Kitty Jay was mind-blowing. Seth Lakeman held the audience in awe while he played his fiddle with vigour. The simplicity of the venue, the empty stage and intense surroundings made Kitty Jay the highlight of the night.
Lakeman also performed tracks Soloman Browne, the traditional west country folk song Setting of the Sun and some songs from the newest album, Hard Road and Artisan, among others from his previous recordings.
Seth Lakeman is currently touring the UK. For more details visit www.sethlakeman.co.uk.