Seth Lakeman at Cadogan Hall
Cadogan Hall was the perfect venue for this Saturday night concert. The acoustics lend themselves to this genre of music and this artist in particular. A spacious, grand and airy hall created a perfect resonance. An excited crowd filled the hall and weren’t kept waiting for long. The band, along with Seth Lakeman, himself took to the stage with an enthusiastic spring in their step. The stage held a vast array of guitars and many other instruments, including an extremely impressive array of percussion. Soft blue lighting bathed the stage as the show began.
Promoting the new album Tales From The Barrel House, the sold out concert featured new tracks as well as old favourites. Tracks for past albums Kitty J and Freedom Fieldswent down a storm with the crowd. Lakeman’s pitch perfect and beautifully unique voice cut through the driving rhythm of the accompaniment.
A strong, heavy drum beat kept toes tapping throughout the opening numbers More Than Many and The Blacksmith’s Prayer. The guest female singer had a truly gorgeous voice and it complimented Lakeman’s tone so beautifully. The melodies flowed together with such ease and grace in the slow numbers, in particular during The White Hare and the more upbeat but still relaxed and gliding The Setting Of The Sun.
After a short interval, the band burst into an energetic and pounding version of The Hurlers. The driving rhythm carried on through Take No Rogues. The audience joined in with the chorus of Colliers, a clear audience and fan favourite. The second half focused on the classics, including Lady Of The Sea and Kitty J. Lakeman’s vocal precision was wonderful, recreating all the charmingly detailed melodic licks we hear on the album.
Seth Lakeman’s fiddle playing is truly stunning to watch. It’s not just the speed at which he plays that is impressive, it’s the precision and musicality. A wonderful element in his song writing and performance is the flawless ability to switch and swerve between unrelenting, racing beats and mellow, delicate ripples of texture. The audience is invited into a truly gorgeous, constantly changing sound world, full of folky harmonies and an infectious energy.
A wonderful thing to see at this concert was the vast diversity of the audience, which was comprised of all age groups. It ranged from folk enthusiasts to teenagers, right the way through to more mature listeners. The accessibility of Seth Lakeman’s music is clear, yet he still retains a unique sound and quality which keeps audiences wanting more. His more traditional sound with a modern twist has proved a clear hit with the public. The upbeat and pure nature of the music really shines through, and it is obvious from the quality of the performance that this artist is all about the sound. It’s all about the quality, musicianship and talent of the players, the solidarity and strength of the songs. The energy that comes from the songs is simply infectious.
This was a truly amazing two hours of music. By the end the audience were standing, clapping along and tapping their feet. There was a real sense of appreciation for the talent on display tonight, and the audience showed their love for the music with a standing ovation, shouting for more. Their wish was granted with a two song encore.
Seth Lakeman’s most recent album Tales From The Barrel House is out now, and I would recommend everyone have a listen. Once you’ve heard one song it is almost impossible not resist diving into this artists catalogue of truly beautiful albums. A new EP will released at the end of the year, featuring five tracks of collaboration between Seth Lakeman and the BBC Concert Orchestra. This promises to be a must-listen.
Photos: Bartek Odias
For further information and future gigs visit Seth Lakeman’s official website here.
Tales From The Barrel House is available now on iTunes.