With little more than a concertina, a pleasing road-worn tenor voice, and a repertoire of songs and instrumentals, Geoff Lakeman played for an attentive audience at the Lichfield Guildhall.
Although his sons Sean, Sam and Seth are all leading folk musicians with successful careers as solo performers, producers, and sidemen, Geoff Lakeman is a journalist by training, and his interest in the world was evident in his setlist and the topics of conversation tackled between the songs.
With traditional numbers, a few choice instrumentals and songs by the likes of Randy Newman, Hank Williams and Buddy and Julie Miller, there was much to appreciate.
Although the concertina was not the most obvious of accompanying instruments to songs that had originally been written on guitars or piano, the thought that had gone into the arrangements of the music was very well thought out.
This was particularly evident during such songs as the well-known Wall Street crash song How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live, or during the biting, satirical humour of Randy Newman’s A Little Bit of Silence.
Folk songs also worked well, with The Green Cockade and the work song When the Potatoes are all Done being early highlights.
The Shepton Mallet/Miss Gaynor were two spirited hornpipes, while two waltzes – The Ottomen Waltz and Josephine’s Waltz – showed the concertina off to good effect.
Country songs also featured, with fine readings of You Win Again and the encore of Peach Picking Time.