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Seth Lakeman - Interview

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 6 / 11 / 2019

Seth Lakeman - Interview


Folk artist and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman talks to Nick Dent-Robinson about his new album 'The Well Worn Path', and touring for two years as a member of Robert Plant's band Sensational Space Shifters.

Seth Lakeman is one of the “cooler” performers in the world of 21st Century English folk music. Between his August performances at a stormy, rain-sodden Fairport's Cropredy event and the Towersey Festival near Thame, Oxfordshire which is celebrating its 55th year, Seth spoke about his new album 'The Well Worn Path' and his appearances over recent years touring as a member of Sensational Space Shifters, the band led by Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. “The new studio album is a return to non-nonsense, organic, classic folk music part-inspired by the likes of Fairport Convention, Neil Young, Nick Cave and Billy Bragg,” Seth begins. “With my previous three albums, 'Kitty Jay' (which was Mercury Prize nominated in 2005), 'Freedom Fields' and 'Word of Mouth' I was pushing the boundaries of folk and roots music. But with the new album I've returned a bit to where I began. Though there will be more boundary pushing in the future, I'm sure. “I have a new line-up supporting me at Towersey with Kit Hawes on electric guitar, Evan Jenkins on drums and Ben Nicholls on double-bass. It is a really exciting outfit with a new and different sound. We are evolving very naturally and can give audiences something fresh and different.” This new direction was largely inspired by Seth's time on the road with Robert Plant. “Well, yes, my touring with Mr Plant definitely affected my perception of music, of performance and of the sheer professionalism people of that calibre, of that experience have. I have huge admiration for Robert. I did two years touring with him - a long stint. And I just found myself naturally writing songs in a style that was a bit more rocky, with a bit more of a driving sound. Some of this can be seen in my relationship on stage with Kit Hawes, the electric guitarist in the new line-up. There's no doubt that working with Robert Plant in The Space Shifters got me to lift the volume a bit, really reach out more." “However my next record will be very different again – about the Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers to celebrate the 400th anniversary in 2020 of that amazing early voyage to America. I am linking in with Boston University in Massachusetts to celebrate this event and the whole sound of that next album will be more serious, more hymnal. It has been a wonderful experience doing that project as a songwriter and others in the Lakeman family are involved - including my sister-in-law Cara Dillon, the Irish folk star." “Meanwhile, I am looking forward to Towersey Festival - the UK's longest-running folk event! They have quite a line-up there, as usual - including Fisherman's Friends, Bruce Foxton plus Steve Harley's Cockney Rebel. It is a privilege to be there.”

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Seth Lakeman - Interview

Seth Lakeman - Interview

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live reviews

Academy 2, Manchester, 16/2/2007
Seth Lakeman - Academy 2, Manchester, 16/2/2007
Seth Lakeman has attracted a large female following because of his good looks, but at the Manchester Academy Helen Tipping finds him playing a lively and lyrical set, and a much deserved winner of the recent Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year award

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Ballads of the Broken Few (2016)
Ambitious new album from violin-playing folk artist and multi-instrumentalist, Seth Lakeman

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