Seth Lakeman has been building up a real buzz around him since his Mercury Prize nomination in 2005 and along with him on this leg of his tour was Australian singer-songwriter Carus Thompson to revel in that buzz.
No traditional warm-up act, Carus, who usually performs a mix of folk/roots with his band The True Believers, is on a solo tour and his stage presence shined with his acoustic rhythms, harmonica and unusual reggae beats produced by none other than his own mouth. Every song had a story behind it and his personality shone through; the atmosphere was full of laughter and everyone was clapping and singing along on demand.
All warmed up and full of giggles (in an audience comprised mainly of giggling girls in their twenties and upwards, boyfriends dragged along, and a quite a few bearded men!), Seth Lakeman graced the stage, with brother Sean on guitar, Ben on double bass and young Cormac Bryne who couldn't stop smiling all night sitting on the weirdest drum we've ever seen, whatever it was sure had him smiling and the audience talking!
Seth and his band don't exactly match the stereotype of folk musicians, but as soon as they started playing you could see how passionate about pure music they were and the sound produced between the four of them was mind blowing.
Crowd favorites 'Setting Of The Sun' and 'Take No Rogues' were met with whoops and cheers but it was when they launched into 'Lady Of The Sea' that saw the entire band at their best and the crowd overjoyed.
It was hard to not feel like we should have been sitting in a big barn on a bale of hay, drinking cider (okay one out of three isn't bad, right?) as Seth produced some beautiful vocals and played his violin, viola, and tenor guitar with such skill and passion that he had the entire crowd stomping their feet all night long and clapping a beat to play to.
Seth's latest single 'The White Hare' is out on Monday and if you can't make it to one of his live performances coming up at FOPP and HMV stores around the country or to his tour in December then you should definitely get yourself to a store now to get involved in the story that his music tells.