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Review: Seth Lakeman and Wildwood Kin at the Lichfield Guildhall

The multi-award winning poster boy for modern folk music, Seth Lakeman, and the critically acclaimed singing trio of Wildwood Kin joined forces in what proved to a be a showcase for their talents as singer and performers in the near perfect acoustic setting of Lichfield Guildhall.

Seth Lakeman. Pic: Bryan Ledgard

Seth Lakeman. Pic: Bryan Ledgard

Most of the set came from the recent album, Ballad of the Broken Few, where the voices of sisters, Beth and Emillie Key and their cousin Meghann Loney blended with the strong tenor of Lakeman and his arsenal of instruments.

Accompanying himself on tenor guitar, guitar, viola, violin, cittern and a bass drum, the music was sparse and low energy, but all the better for it.

Anybody who has seen Seth Lakeman with his band would have been surprised by this concert, but what it lacked in modern folk-rock dynamics it made up for with the fine detailing of the songs, where the pathos and sorrow of many of the original songs could be heard to best effect.

Songs from Ballads of the Broken Few mixed with a number of originals and older songs, so we heard the old Appalachian murder ballad Anna Lee and the accapella strains of Bury Me, with all four singers crowding around one microphone, while older songs, with a more rhythmic sound, such as The Colliers or the show-stopping Solomon Browne were also served up.

Innocent Child was a lullaby for his children and Whenever I am Home was a study of the two ways of life for musicians who spend much of their time on the road.

One disappointment in the entire concert was that we did not hear more of Wildwood Kin by themselves, but musically Seth Lakeman was in fine form throughout the evening, with modern sounding guitar parts mixing with his dextrous violin and viola playing. The use of both tenor guitar and cittern added something to his distinctive vocal tones.

It was of course, the show-ending Kitty Jay, with a dance like percussion pattern and its instantly recognisable violin part that received the loudest ovation from the audience.

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1 Comment

  1. Nicholas Sedgwick

    9th August, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    The concert was in Lichfield Cathedral as part of the Lichfield Festival not the Guildhall