Seth Lakeman on the Glastonbury Acoustic Stage (photo by Jaine Keskeys)

Updated 8 July 2008 with Jaine Keskeys’ great photograph
Updated 30 June 2008 with Down on the Farm, The Guardian

Seth hit the Glastonbury Acoustic stage at 6.40pm on Saturday. Overlooked in the BBC’s coverage, save a small solo spot on the BBC2 highlights show at one o’clock in the morning, Lakeman’s set was nonetheless clearly one of his classic crowd winners.

“His effort was unrivalled, his performance was flawless.”

On the Glastonbury website Anna Blainey recounts the oft told tale of another accidental convert to Lakemania. Stumbling into the acoustic tent only because “three people … had told me in the last twenty four hours that he was one of the best acts they had seen” she was understandably worried that “with all these promises of Lakeman’s greatness… he would be completely awful.”

Clearly all prepared for the “lengthy arguments with people I’d rather not fall out with” that would ensue, she was totally won over by his “huge versatility” and “extraordinary voice…every intonation of it suggesting a phase of a song, and a story… sung with a unique raw expressiveness. And on top of this was his fiddle playing, executed with such speedy exuberance that he ended the set with a clump of shed horse hair hanging from the bow”.

TV Coverage

His TV performance of The Hurlers, solo and unaccompanied save his own urgent fiddle, is available to view and download from BBC iPlayer until 5 July or in rather blurrier form on YouTube (until the beeb spots it anyhow):

Down on the Guardian G2 Farm

The Guardian decided to test stars rural knowledge with their own miniature farm. Estelle, bless her, was confused by the absence of shops: “how do you get food, how do you eat in the country?”.

Moving swiftly on:

“Because I’m from the West Country, Glastonbury means a lot to me,” says folk star Seth Lakeman. “There’s a rich English heritage to Glastonbury, and there’s a lot of meaning when you play those songs about people from round this area.” Lakeman lives on the edge of Dartmoor, and says the landscape is an inspiration to him. Many of his school friends are now farmers, and he says they often ask him when he’s going to get a proper job. He used to help bale hay when he was younger. “It’s tough on your hands,” he says.

Down on the farm, The Guardian, 30 June 2008 »