Thursday, 15 November 2012

KATHRYN ROBERTS & SEAN LAKEMAN

Live Review

Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton

One of Wolverhampton's best kept secrets played host to two veteran folk musicians, husband and wife team, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman who were more than ably assisted by Scots lass Patsy Reid.

Coming with a folk pedigree as long as the hall carpets in Buckingham Palace the extrovert Kathryn kicked off their set at the intimate folk club venue in Whitmore Reans with The Maid With The Bonny Brown Hair, a soft ballad to ease people into a night of cracking music.
This was followed up by Lifetime Of Tears which brought husband Sean to the fore with his strumming guitar beat that opened up the bluegrass-style sound to which strings player Patsy added a country feel with her fiddle.
Kathryn then moved on to the flute for Red Barn which was a traditional song telling of tragedy which was woven with a Celtic strand that was perfectly complimented with Patsy's fiddle playing.
Huldra a mystical tale about siren-like women waiting in the woods to ensnare passing men gave Kathryn a chance to show her talent for a cappella with a wonderful backing harmony from Patsy.
Then came a track from their album 1, Lord Gregory which is a light slow air that, again, was accented beautifully by Patsy, this time on the cello.
Kathryn changed the tempo with Lusty Smith, an upbeat bawdy song which gave husband Sean a chance to shine through a duet with Patsy back on the fiddle.
With Kathryn this time on the keyboard, she brought out the retrospective Ballad of Andy Jacobs which was inspired by the miner's strike which happened when she was still a young girl. She later revisited the events as an adult and penned this song
There was more of a country feel to Saving Grace which started with Kathryn's clear and strong vocals before Sean came to the fore to provide a blue grass sound with his guitar.
Georgia Lee, another track from their 1 album is a Tom Waites' ballad which was an unadorned country song once again about tragedy and questions of life.
The group moved back to simpler themes about love at the village fair with Money & Jewels from their latest album Hidden People.
They then went on to the light-hearted ditty called Mrs Beeton inspired by the original domestic goddess and finished the set with another country-style ballad Safe In Your Arms.