As part of the Roots Unearthed gigs on Level 3 at St David’s Hall, which are always special, inmate and full of quality music. Tonight was no exception the lights were set and the instruments piano, flute and clarinet awaited Kathryn’s touch and the guitars sat waiting for Sean’s magic fingers and the music to begin. The turnout was good, for a cold and bleak February Monday evening, and those who chose to stay inside missed an evening of lyrics, tales and laughs that flowed from the stage and across the audience. Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman are without doubt two of the most accomplished performers on the British folk scene, and it is fantastic that they are back on the road with a new album Tomorrow Will Follow Today.
The two sets were delivered with professional panache, combining the two elements that make a great performance, interaction with the audience tales about the song, themselves and fabulous musicianship and lyrics that hold your imagination and accompaniment that adds but never drowns. We heard a mix of traditional songs and others penned by Kathryn including 52 Hertz, motivated about her love of Whales and an article in a Science journal, we end up with a haunting melody and Kathryn’s vocals delivering a solo that stays on the mind as the story unveils itself about as a lonely whale in the North pacific, who sings at 52 Hertz the wrong key so no other whale hears his song as he is forever forlornly looking for the female to mate with; modern folk that touches every button on your folk radar. The whole set was a showcase for Sean’s classy acoustic guitar work as he strummed and delivered a complex array of chords making it look so simple as he never missed a beat and was in perfect harmony with Kathryn’s stunning vocal interpretation of every song she sung full of texture and tones that made every word stand out.
We had lots of songs that showed the darker side of life, sex, infidelity and murder ballad including a marvellous rendition of The Red Barn from Suffolk and a gruesome song, where we had a airing of the flute adding that winsome sound that mirrored Kathryn’s own vocals. Tonight was also an opportunity to show case the new album which was available tonight pre-release date another bonus for turning out on a cold night, the title track Tomorrow Will Follow Today, being a protest song full of anger about the inequalities in modern Britain and definitely touched a nerve in the audience. As did another Kathryn self-penned number about the Miners Strike, The Ballad of Andy Jacobs which was a distilling of Kathryn’s memories of this period in the 1980’s when she was a child living in a Yorkshire Mining Community near Barnsley. Amongst the interesting set was an acoustic version of Little Feat’s, Twenty Million Things and a song that dates back to Tudor England evoking the intrigue of Wolf Hall – The Banishing Book. What an evening of pure entertainment, live music, fun and warmth interesting songs and great musicianship a perfect combination come back soon we want to hear more on and the encore of The Wisdom of Standing Still just wasn’t enough!
They are touring and too god to miss – Tour Dates