Support for Seth Lakeman tonight comes from Carus Thompson, a young Australian folkish singer with a passion for his music and a good line in bouncing around the stage with his acoustic guitar, whilst singing catchy, funny, enjoyable songs.

He achieves the impossible, at least in my experience, of having complete silence whilst he sings without the microphone. I look round expecting the hall to be half empty, but it's filled up since I arrived with people as far as I can see. The audience must be more appreciative than normal, as it didn’t work when I saw him do the same thing in Leeds.

Seth Lakeman is appearing with his band tonight, consisting of his brother Sean on guitar, Ben Nicholls on bass and Andy on percussion. Percussion is anything from drums to a washboard. Seth plays the fiddle and tenor guitar and Ben plays double bass and banjo. The music varies between fast and danceable and slower tracks to give the crowd an opportunity to cool down, although there’s not much chance of that in the sweaty pit that is the Academy 2.

One thing that’s very noticeable about the audience is the large number of women - I’m a bit worried that Take That are going to turn up to do a number. But then Seth’s ruled out getting involved with boy band types – the man has integrity to his folk roots! I can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of attraction other than the music, and this is confirmed when I chance read a text the woman in front of me is sending a friend who didn’t get tickets.

Having said that, it must be about the music as well, and that’s also confirmed at the end when the couple next to me start talking about how much they’ve enjoyed it, having come along not knowing what to expect, especially at such a small venue – it sounds like MEN Arena is where they usually go for big events like Kylie, so rescue is at hand then. And Seth Lakeman’s music is enjoyable, not the dreary folk of memory, but lively and lyrical, fast and fun.

2007 has hardly started, but Seth Lakeman has already picked up awards for Folk Singer of the Year and Best Album for 'Freedom Fields' in the Radio 2 Folk Awards. Given the rise in popularity of folk music and we’re seeing a greater diversification in music – they’ll be running out of dodgy labels soon! Rave folk punk anyone? Or is that what they call the Levellers these days?

Related Links:

Commenting On: Academy 2, Manchester, 16/2/2007 - Seth Lakeman

ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment

First Previous Next Last