Last night an intimate crowd of no more that 300 avid Seth Lakeman fans packed in to the Jazz Cafe and were treated to just over an hour’s set from one of England's finest folk acts. To gain entrance to this one-off event you had to have pre-ordered his new album 'Hearts and Minds' from hmv.com and then go into a draw to win tickets! A brazen ploy maybe, but I’m certain no one would feel bitter towards the dashing singer as the album is fantastic and his performances are always top-notch.
He opens with ‘Hearts and Minds’, the first track from the new album of the same title. With its up-beat tempo and beguiling lyrics, the crowd seem to instantly engage and enjoy it. Next up is ‘Hurlers’ which has everyone joining Seth in his signature stomping and singing along to chorus “Where you stand! Hey, hey”.
Seth then introduced ‘Changes’; “This is off our new album which isn’t out yet, down to me, but it’s out on the 19th”, leading to the rest of the band laughing away. The mellow track had everyone swaying along and listening intently to his serene vocals.
The Riflemen of War’ proved to be the most raucous so far, causing the small venue to quake from the united stamping. Other highlights included fan favourite ‘Poor Man’s Heaven’ touching on current issues but not as much as his new album does which focuses fairly heavily on the financial crash ,greed, politics and the day to day struggles of man.
Kitty Jay is the last song before a brief break in the set. The song from the album likely named was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, acquiring a lot of attention for the English Folk Singer. It goes down particularly well with the crowd and as they head off stage, everyone screams for "more! more!".
They end the set with jovial, ‘Race to be King’. The incessant and energetic banjo-fiddling has everyone going crazy, dancing and singing along. To the dismay of the crowd, the band exit the stage but to huge cheers to match the bands grins. It’s clear than not one person in the tightly packed venue regret the lengths in which they had to take to attend the concert; ‘Hearts and Minds’ sets out to a good start, pleasing the people who are most important.
Hearts and Minds
The Circle Grows
Setting of the Sun
The Riflemen of War
See them Dance
Ye Mariners All
Poor Man’s Heaven
Blood Upon Copper
Race to be King
Review By Lucy Howell
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