Sunday 14 October 2007

Seth Lakeman, University of Lincoln

Tonight I find myself at Lincoln University to see the folk maestro, Seth Lakeman, in action.

Firstly the university confuses us because we head for The Shed and the gig is in The Engine Shed, to which we have to ask directions. It's very confusing them having places with such similar names. Secondly, and this a first, the gig seems to be running ahead of itself. We arrive in time to see the start of the second support band but end up catching only the end of them. Seth himself comes on twenty minutes early.

The place is also packed, obviously folk is in vogue at the moment. The audience is a mix of oldies and youngsters who have got old before their time, and us of course. This makes me feel very young. There's no proper beer available, which would have sold well given the clientèle, and I have to make do with Kronenbourg 1664, that famous French lager brewed in very Gallic Reading.

Now, as I've said before, I'm not really a great fan but I have done my research by listening to both 'Freedom Fields', and 'Kitty Jay'. It starts well because Seth opens with a string of tracks that I know and I am very impressed because for the first few tracks he plays the fiddle. Very good he is with it too. He is accompanied by quite a vivid stage show, plenty of flashing lights etc but this leaves the back of the stage a little too dark to see what the two percussionists are doing which is a shame. The band also consist of a double bass and I'm told his brother on guitar.

Seth himself doesn't stay on the fiddle for long and plays an assortment of bass guitars and the material isn't stuff I recall, consequently he loses me a bit after that. Personally, I think he is at his best on the fiddle.

My legs are knackered and I consider moving a little further back and leaning against the wall until someone steals my intended spot. Seth grabs my attention again towards the end when he plays the title track of 'Kitty Jay', which is clearly popular and possibly the stand track of the evening.

He returns for an encore of two tracks, one of which is an instrument, then he's gone and that's it. It's still very early, these folk people don't like to be out too late.

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