SETH LAKEMAN, Josh Rouse @Robin 2, Bilston 2/11/15


Devon’s finest makes it to the West Midlands. So does Damian.

A little after 8pm, the lights dim and Josh Rouse walks quietly onto the stage.

“Good evening Bilston, I slept late today and didn’t get chance to look around your town but I’m sure it’s lovely.” We’ll just leave that there for you to make your mind’s up.

“JR Worried Blues” starts the show from his wonderful new release “The Embers of Time”. This however isnt a show to stick to just new songs as “Comeback (Light Therapy)” from the 1972 album is up next and then “Quiet town” from the “Subtitulo” record. This song has a very Midnight Cowboy feel about it. Another tune from his recent release ““Some Days I’m Golden All Night” is a highlight elsewhere.

The native Nebraskan is, if nothing else, a very prolific singer/songwriter with 11 solo releases and a few mini albums/collaborations under his belt. My favourite track from his Nashville release “My Love has Gone” gets the audience singing along to the chorus.“Love Vibration” and “Winter in the Hamptons” follow before “Crystal Falls” written about his time, as a young man, unsuccessfully panning for Gold in California. Two songs wrap up the set with “Time” which has a very Paul Simon vibe and an audience request for “1972”. A short but excellently paced set which warms up the crowd.

A short break as the band tune up their instruments and then Seth Lakeman hits the stage.

“The Courier” from the last release “Word of Mouth” gets us underway.

“Take No Rogues” follows before “Stand by your Guns” a song from his offshoot band The Full English is shared. The band depart and leave Seth to play the very emotive song “Shores of Normandy” written by Jim Radford about his experiences of the Normandy landings as a 15 year old boy. A lighter moment arrives as the chin strap to his violin falls off and Mr Lakeman flees the stage to try and find a replacement.

“The Bold Knight” and “John Lomas” follow before we get a brand new unreleased song in the form of “Silver Threads Around The Gold” about growing old. If those had been a little downtempo, then“The Storm”, “Poor Mans Heaven” and “The Colliers” get the up-tempo foot stomping pace back on track.

“Last Rider” and ”High Street Rose” are up next before we get the wonderful “Portrait of my Wife” with “Kitty Jay” closing a rapturous set. The encore includes“Blood upon Copper” and “Race to be King” send an exhausted audience away fully sated.

A cracker of a show from this Devon troubadour.

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