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Author Topic: Review: Seth Lakeman and Guests  (Read 8752 times)
Sir Robert Peel
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« on: February 19, 2006, 09:45:34 PM »

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Bury Met theatre in Greater Manchester. For your delectation and delight, tonight, I present the talented singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman and guests.

Let’s step smartly past the merchandise stall where the statuesque Kathryn Roberts is modelling the latest line in Lakeman T-shirts, in a ladies’ skinny-fit size.
‘I’ll have one of those later’, says my companion.
‘Enough of your coarseness’, I retort, ‘and anyway, that particular lady is spoken for.’
‘The T-shirt, you berk, not Miss Roberts’.
Moving swiftly forward, we adjourn to the bar to order a triple round of sherries and pre-order some half-time slurps. I had learnt my lesson from the last gig, when we had been unable to obtain sufficient sustenance for Eliza and the Ratcatchers and had had to nip out to join the floozies and Hooray Henrys in Yates Wine Lodge. Bad move – but that’s another story.

The place is packed and three or four more rows have been squeezed in, front of stage. Our troubadour takes the stage in his usual uniform – jeans, clumpy boots and black t-shirt. His voice is exceptionally strong tonight and we are in for an extravaganza, with songs from his CDs Punchbowl, Kitty Jay and Freedom Fields. The set will be nicely balanced too, with stirring anthems, West-country rock, soaring and plaintive ballads, right through to the gentle little love song ‘Send Yourself Away’.

Far left is his brother, the sartorially elegant Sean Lakeman in camel-coloured chinos, sparkling white dress shirt and brown cowboy boots. Far right and seated behind his double bass is Ben Nicholls. Between Ben and Seth there is the extraordinary sight of a renowned percussionist sitting on a speaker, surrounded by things that one shakes, rattles and rolls. I won’t say that he looks as though he’s in the middle of a playpen surrounded by toys because it’s Uiscedwr’s Cormac Byrne, an honorary Mancunian since his days at the Royal Northern College of Music. He’s the man responsible for rehabilitating the bodhran and re-inventing it's use in World Music. Instead of the usual monotonous scraping sound of wood skimming tentatively across goat, we’ll get calypso, bosanova and West Country hoe-down rockabilly. What would the man do with a drum-kit? Together, Cormac and Ben become an accomplished and innovative rhythm section that do justice to the songs and the singer.

Here's a rough stab at the Set-list:

King and Country
Going Under
Lady of the Sea
White Hare
Blow the ? (blimey, Ben played a fantastic banjo part on that one, whatever it was called)
Setting of the Sun
Blood Upon Copper

Half-time. A few scoops imbibed, T-shirts snaffled up.

John Lomas
Fight for Favour
Kitty Jay
Captains’ Court
The Charmer
Bold Knight
How Much?
The Storm
Ye Mariner’s All


Send Yourself Away
Scrumpy’s Set

I would feel short-changed at a Seth gig if he didn’t break a guitar string or two and if his bow didn’t end up looking like a hairy tickling-stick. And so it was, tonight. Ben managed to wangle a few smoke-breaks by running off stage to fix the blighters.

I felt a bit sorry for Ben. Every so often, Cormac would season his bodhran with a white talcum like mixture. With the first rat-tat-boom-chug-chug-bang, a cloud of white dust would arise and drift towards the bass-player. By the end of the night, they both looked like a couple of coke-heads with bad dandruff.

With that stirring, rousing finish the band left and the crowd bayed, stomped, whistled, yelped and clapped in unison. 'More, more' came the roar.

Seth declared that after meeting the fans in the foyer, he and the band would sample the delights of Bury at night. ‘Don’t do it’, I shouted, ‘you’ll never get out alive.’
‘They’ll be alright’, said my companion. ‘They’re from Devon, and it doesn’t come much rougher than that. Besides, no-one will argue with those two other blokes with white faces, smelling of Johnson’s Baby powder'.

True.  Roll Eyes

Sir Robert Peel
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2006, 01:02:58 PM »

One thing Sir Bob hasn't mentioned in his review is that there seemed to be many more young ladies in the audience on Saturday than is usual for folk events at the Met.  I guess Mr Lakeman's appeal is not just his superb musical prowess.  Wink Wink

Anyway, it was a most enjoyable gig - I hope the band survived their night out in Bury.  Shocked


It Doesn't Stop Being Magic Just Because You Know How It's Done!
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2006, 01:21:38 PM »

One thing Sir Bob hasn't mentioned in his review is that there seemed to be many more young ladies in the audience on Saturday than is usual for folk events at the Met.  I guess Mr Lakeman's appeal is not just his superb musical prowess.  Wink Wink

Seth playing in the homelands *swoons dangerously at the mere thought*
I'm not saying its all about his dazzeling good looks but it does help to have something pretty to look at, it adds an extra 'depth' to the performance...
Vikki xx

Friends of the Oxford Folk festival. F OFF in the nicest possible way......
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