Sunday 1 November 2015


Live Review

The Robin2, Bilston

Seth Lakeman walked into a seriously warm welcome from the fans packed into Robin2. Lakeman was previously in Wolverhampton last year so with the gig at the Bilston venue his appearance is almost becoming an annual occurrence, not that anyone would complain.

Seth Lakeman at the Robin2.
Pic Danny Farragher
Joined on stage by his fellow Full English band member Ben Nicholls, drummer Cormac Byrne and guitarist and banjo player Jack Rutter Lakeman started as he meant to go on, full of energy and pulling in the crowd who were more than willing to let him know how much they enjoyed his performance.
As usual Lakeman came with a bucket load of instruments and none of them went to waste, switching between the fiddle, guitar and bouzouki as and when the song called for it. He rarely stayed still throughout the set which lasted more than an hour.
He kicked off with the high energy Courier from his latest album Word of Mouth. His fiddle from the start doing 20 to the dozen. Lakeman mixed up his set trawling into his back catalogue to resurrect some of his earlier songs.
This was followed by Lakeman on the bouzouki with Take No Rogues from his Freedom Fields album.
He then pulled out a broadside from Frank Kidson, Stand By Your Guns, which he played during his tour with The Full English. Things went a little of the rails for the incredibly emotive Shores of Normandy, written by Jim Radford for the anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
The tune was made all the more poignant through it being just Lakeman and his rasping fiddle. Unfortunately, at the worst possible time his singing went awry and he had to stop.
Fortunately it was only the chin rest on his fiddle falling off rather than a problem with his voice, quickly doing a temporary repair, he carried on the song to its end.
He went back nine years to his Kitty Jay album with John Lomas and then pulled out another staple Bold Knight before bringing out a new ballad he has written, Silver Threads Among The Gold which will feature on his new album.
For this Lakeman played his fiddle like a ukulele using a pizzicato style to highlight the song. The crowd were lapping up everything he threw at them which included Feather in the Storm and another older hit from the same album, Poor Man's Heaven.
Seth's latest album
He cranked up the beat with Ye Mariners All which had the big finish from Nicholls on the harmonica.
The band then got everyone bouncing to the beat of Last Rider with the help of Rutter. Lakeman then showed what he is famous for, hammering his fiddle for Lady of the Sea.
Towards the end of the gig he pulled out Portrait of My Wife which has become a staple of his tours since he wrote it.
This segued into his big signature finale of Kitty Jay which the crowd appreciated with the thumping beat and buzz saw speed of his fiddle playing.
Lakeman put on a show which was full of energy and had enough variety across his repertoire to keep everyone happy and gave the crowd what they love, watching him hammer his fiddle like he was trying to start a fire.

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