The Robin2, Bilston, Wolverhampton (2011)
You will be hard pressed to find anyone more talented or versatile than Seth Lakeman on the folk circuit.
His skill with a violin is awesome and it wouldn’t be overstating it to put him on the same footing as Nigel Kennedy, Andre Rieu, Stephane Grapelli and John Sheahan of The Dubliners.
Add to this his incredible competence with the banjo, acoustic guitar, bouzouki and mandolin along with his strong, emotional voice and you have a folk-rock singer who deserves all the accolades he receives.
The Devon musician moved between heavier folk-rock to atmospheric ballads such as Changes to traditional folk and hoe downs with consummate ease much to the appreciation of the packed Robin audience. From his first song More Than Money, inspired by the men who mined granite - a track from his sixth album Tales from the Barrel House, Lakeman had his fans in his thrall.
Much of his music is dedicated to the loss of traditional skills such as the Blacksmith’s Prayer a lament for the disappearing craft and Hard Road which tells the sorry story of people thrown out of work when a factory closes and has a deep resonance in these dark days of recession.
There are myriad influences which can be heard in his work and which are wonderfully expressed by him and his group including blue grass, such as in The Sender and The Artisan which are accented by his rasping fiddle playing, along with blues and more traditional folk rifts such as Salt From Our Veins which are just sheer magic to listen to.