Friday, April 28, 2006

Hope not Hate



The Bridgewater Hall is not the normal sort of place I go to gigs at. Large, smart, clean, seated...it all feels a little strange.



Still the acoustics are wonderful even up in the gallery (I think that's the stage down there...), which makes it all the sadder that the sound mix for Seth Lakeman was rather poor, with the vocals swamped by everything else.

Despite this he filled the boots of the support act extremely admirably, with highlights like Kitty Jay filling the whole auditorium in a way that you wouldn't imagine one lad, a fiddle and stamping foot should be able to.

The ability to hold a stage is something he holds in common with the headline act, Billy Bragg. Whether pouring out his heart in a ballad, rallying against the system in his between song polemics or delivering some of the most wonderful lyrics of recent times, his charisma just cannot be contained. Nor does it flag, which with a two hour long set is quite something.

One of his anecdotes tonight reflects on one his heroes Woody Guthrie and the slogan that he bore on his guitar "this machine kills fascists"; if it were down to pure passion alone then the tour's aim to Stop the BNP should be well within this Essex troubadour's grasp.

Stuart, before you ask, no I didn't get you a T'shirt...I was too scared in case I got the wrong size...

5 comments:

Steve said...

I saw Seth about 18 months ago at The Bedford in Balham - nobody knew who he was before he started, but it was clear that something special had just happened when he finished. I bought the album there and then, and was v. pleased when he got the Mercury nomination.

Good ole' Billy. :)

1 i z said...

Yeah the first time I saw Seth Lakeman play, it had the same effect on me. And if you'd told me I'd like folk stuff with one guy and a fiddle...

I guess it helps that I'm so familiar with the Dartmoor influence that pervades his work, but that's no detraction from a fantastic musician and performer.

Caroline said...

the Dartmoor influence that pervades his work

do what? do you mean the pyjamas with arrows on or the fact that he's an eroding tourist attraction?

1 i z said...

Well sadly it's not that I get to spend an evening with my favourite Bristolian en route to experiencing Seth.

Most of the songs he writes are about Dartmoor and the folklore of those parts.

But I quite like the idea of him in pyjamas.

Ok I like the idea of him out of his pyjamas even better ;-)

sally said...

Oh you two so make me laugh..only Caroline could interpret the Dartmoor influence that way.....