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Friday 12 November 2021

CD Review: Seth Lakeman's Make Your Mark - Heart On The Sleeve Missive From A Unique Talent To His Listeners

Seth Lakeman likes new beginnings, from his Mercury Music Prize in 2005 for Kitty Jay, through many collaborations, solo albums and his time spent accompanying Robert Plant in the studio and on stage. But his latest offering, Make Your Mark, arrives on the back of an enforced eighteen months off the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the country emerged from lockdown, Seth entered the studio and self-produced a fourteen song set that covered a number of topics from the environment to love, death and self-belief.

"The pandemic gave me a real determination to come out musically stronger and I really dug deep into myself for this album," says Seth. 

"Being able to record and play with the band again was really quite spiritual."

Opener Hollow sounds strident and somewhat angry at the world .. or more than likely, angry at what the world's let itself become.

Maybe it's an age thing. Seth is now looking at the world from the slightly wobbly platform of middle-age. A time when an artist as driven and productive as Seth can produce their most in-depth and profound work. 

It's no-doubt a massive bonus to have such tried and tested musicians on board.

Seth Lakeman - Higher We Aspire

There's long-time bassist Ben Nicholls, who has toured the world with Seth since the early days plus Benji Kirkpatrick (Bellowhead, Faustus) on bouzouki, banjo and mandolin. 

Plymouth-based musician Alex Hart adds her backing vocals and Toby Kearney, principal percussionist at the Birmingham Conservatoire, is on drums.

Their collective contributions to the project are there for all to hear on the single, Higher We Aspire. Another call to arms for humanity: 'The higher we aspire / The further we can go.'

Other highlights of Make Your Mark include:

The Giant - driving fiddle led folk storytelling. Seth's playing seems to get wilder, yet more focused, with age.

Bound To Someone -  Beautiful melodic folk tale with a female backing singer who complements Seth's folk-inflected vocals. 

Fallen Friend - Sounds like a seafaring tale of those lost but forever remembered. Bonds shared and declared. Souls lost but never abandoned.

Sadly there wasn't a lyric sheet with my review copy of Make Your Mark. So it seems wrong for me to second guess them.

The lyrics are dense and wordy. I'd like to know the origins of theses finely crafted tales. Seemingly Seth is immersed in literature and the oral tradition of folklore.

This isn't a one-stop shop for the Instagram and TikTok generation. It's a cycle of songs to return to again and again

It's a manifesto of sorts. A heart on the sleeve missive from a unique talent to his listeners. Open your ears and dive into Make Your Mark, you won't be disappointed.

Seth Lakeman's new album 'Make Your Mark' is released on 19th November 2021. To pre-order and/or check-out the different formats CLICK HERE.

by: Mike Cobley


The First Release of Brighton Fringe events will feature comedy from Paralympic, World Championship and European Championship dressage medallist Ricky Balshaw; Love and Money, a play by internationally-acclaimed writer Dennis Kelly and the return of award-winning comedy actress Joanna Neary with a show based on her comedy podcast Wife On Earth.

On the 21st December hundreds of people will walk 5k to support the NSPCC. Landmarks across the UK, including the BA i360 in Brighton and Lancing College Chapel are also supporting the charity by lighting up and turning the NSPCC's trademark green colour.

Creative Learning at Theatre Royal Brighton runs a programme of workshops, performances, talks, tours and events alongside the shows on its stage. 

Mr Bruce - former frontman of The Correspondents - marks the start of his solo career in spectacular style with the release of Race To Nowhere [Part One], and a date at Brighton's Green Door Store.

Following last year’s virtual sing-along, Brighton Festival Chorus (BFC) returns to the stage for its annual Christmas Concert at Brighton Dome on Sunday 12 December at 4pm. 
Credit Vicki McManus

Budding young circus performers are preparing to take to the stage at Brighton Dome this December, with help from professional artists from Circolombia.

When the lights go up at the start of the performances of Riverdance: The New 25th Anniversary Show at The Brighton Centre next month, the excitement will be palpable, not just from the audience but very much from all the performers too.

The Beatles famously turned their back on touring towards the end of their career but The Bootleg Beatles, due to Covid, as with the rest of the industry were forced into an unwanted hiatus. 
Credit David-Geli

Komedia has teamed up with leading independent comedy promoters Little Wander for a fresh take on their weekend stand-up comedy offering.

After years spent living on opposite sides of the Atlantic world events threw Laura Mary Carter and Steven Ansell of Brighton's Blood Red Shoes back together into what has become the must fruitful era of their 17 years together. 
Florin and Charlie

Over one-hundred Brighton residents have been offered full or part time roles on-site at the £120 million Edward Street Quarter development as part of an ongoing social value commitment to support the local community.

The South-East's largest charity supporting vulnerable young people, YMCA DownsLink Group, has launched its Christmas fundraising appeal
Credit Vic Frankowski

Brighton city centre will once again be filled with a sea of colour and creativity as thousands of school children, teachers and volunteers celebrate the return of the Brighton Festival Children's Parade after a two-year gap on Saturday 7th May 2022.
Credit Rosie Powell

This year, Towner Eastbourne invited members of the LGBTQIA+ community in East Sussex to take part in a unique creative project, exploring personal responses to artworks in the Towner Collection, through a queer lens. 

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