Seth Lakeman – St James Church

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I can’t find any video from the night, so that’s the video to Seth’s new single.

Why this gig?

I saw Seth Lakeman playing with various bands (most memorably, Equation) towards the end of the 90s. I then largely forgot about him until I saw him playing a solo show at the Union Chapel a couple of years ago. That was such a good night that I was keen to see him again. Plus this gig was in a church. Always love a gig in a church. Great acoustics.


No support. Seth plays two sets. When the ticket says “and special guests” it apparently means “Seth’s band”.


I thought I arrived at the venue in good time and was pretty close to the front of the queue. But actually, I couldn’t see the queue in front of me snaking around the market stalls in the churchyard. By the time I got into the church all of the half-decent seats downstairs were taken and I decided to try upstairs. This was, in retrospect, a mistake. Although there were plenty of seats up there, only about twelve of them had any kind of view of the performance. And most of those were already taken. I ended up at the back of the balcony where I had a view of about two-thirds of the band. And it was really uncomfortable.

All of which meant that by the time Seth and his band came on stage, I was a little grumpy and not really in the mood for a folk gig.

I own a couple of Seth Lakeman albums, and I enjoy listening to them. But I don’t play them enough to really know the songs. I rely on the power of his performance to make the evening enjoyable. That worked well last time. This time, however, I’m really uncomfortable and I find it much harder to lose myself to the music. I even consider leaving at the end of the first set. Not because there’s anything wrong with the performance – Seth and his band are on top form – but the sound is a bit muddy from where I’m sitting and because I’m just not in the right state of mind to enjoy the night.

I’m glad I didn’t though. The second half is punchier and I start to forget my discomfort. Before long there are even people dancing in the aisles. But, unfortunately, that’s also a sign that the show is almost over. The second set of forty-five minutes flies past and far too soon we’re cast out onto Piccadilly to do battle with the tube network that is decimated by a strike.


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