I'm certainly no fan of folk music but Seth Lakeman is in any area of music an exceptional talent.Here though is something very different,a live EP recorded at the Plymouth Pavillions with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Five songs from Seth's other album releases, but without his reguilar group of musicians but the orchestra each song takes on new depths and such a high quality release.To put this under 'folk music' would limit a market for a release of clearly lasting pleasure.It first and foremost shows the incredible qualities he has as both a musician and a songwriter of the highest level.The orchestra add such a richness to each song,adds new depths and meaning alongside Seth's voice and violin.The only regret it's an EP and not a full length album,but this really is such an enjoyable listen it should if there's any justice give him and his music an even wider audience.One of the years very enjoyable sets beautifully sung and played.
on 17 December 2012
I was at this concert and Seth came across very well with the orchestrated arrangements of these songs. On the night they did 6 songs but for some reason the Bold Knight was not included in this recording, which is the reason why I have not given it the full 5 stars. Nevertheless, this is a very good, unique EP.
on 5 December 2012
This too short CD is basically an orchestrated version of Seth's greatest hits. This time, the rawness and energy of his regular live sets are transformed into slower and deeper treatments of the songs. King and Country is a walk now rather than a gallop and all the better for it. I am a fan of folk music and generally not a fan of orchestration, but this one works for me. I don't know whether it will work for people who are new to Seth Lakeman, they may be better off going to one of his earlier CDs. But, hey, I'm not going to stand in anyone's way. These are some beautiful songs and your ears deserve to have a treat every so often. Loses a * because it should have been twice the length.
on 11 February 2013
Seth Lakeman's songs are given a sumptuous edge with the wonderful BBC Concert Orchestra. This doesn't detract from the original recordings but the whole thing comes over very well. He's a great performer, and rightly has a loyal following. We've seen him in concert twice and he gives more than 100%. With the orchestra things are taken to a different level, it's obviously not as homely as the folk concerts but Seth's voice and dramatic delivery are complemented by the super orchestrations. The only quibble is - why so few tracks?
It's ten years since Seth Lakeman released his debut solo album, and now here he is, with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and arrangements by Anne Dudley. It's a long way from Buckland Monachorum.
This 5 track live EP features some of his best known songs, with 'Blacksmith's Prayer' from his current album "Tales From The Barrel House", 'Kitty Jay' the title track from his 2005 Mercury nominated album, 'Lady Of The Sea' and 'King & Country' from "Freedom Fields" and 'Changes' from "Hearts & Minds". So a nice spread of tunes. It's actually 'Blacksmith's Prayer' that works best, with the orchestra, arrangement and song all in sync.
Elsewhere, it's less commanding, especially with the likes of Sharon Shannon and The Unthanks having trodden the same path. But there's plenty of fine fiddling on 'Lady Of The Sea', and the arrangement on 'Changes' lifts what I'd thought of as a rather ordinary song into a much better place. As stopgaps go, this is a good one, and should keep fans happy until the next album wends its way along.