Seth Lakeman

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Seth Lakeman
Lakeman performing Kitty Jay at Hampton Pool, London in July 2023
Lakeman performing Kitty Jay at Hampton Pool, London in July 2023
Background information
Birth nameSeth Bernard Lakeman
Born (1977-03-26) 26 March 1977 (age 46)
OriginBuckland Monachorum, Devon, England
GenresEnglish folk, British folk rock, acoustic folk
Instrument(s)Vocals, violin, tenor guitar, viola, banjo
Years active1994–present
LabelsiScream (pre-2006), Relentless, EMI, Virgin, Cooking Vinyl

Seth Bernard Lakeman (born 26 March 1977) is an English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who is most often associated with the fiddle and tenor guitar, but also plays the viola and banjo. Nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize, Lakeman has belonged to several musical ensembles, including one with his two brothers, fellow folk musicians Sam Lakeman and Sean Lakeman, but has most recently established himself as a solo act.


The Lakeman Brothers[edit]

Seth Lakeman grew up with his two brothers, Sean Lakeman and Sam Lakeman, in the village of Buckland Monachorum in West Devon, England. He began playing music with his parents and brothers at an early age.[1]

As The Lakeman Brothers, the three brothers released their debut album Three Piece Suite in 1994. Later that same year they were invited by two Yorkshire based singers Kathryn Roberts and Kate Rusby to join them as a backing group on a tour of Portugal. After the tour the five musicians became a permanent group and called themselves Equation.[2] The group were signed in a record deal with Time Warner in 1995. After three full albums (Return to Me in 1996, Hazy Daze in 1998, and The Lucky Few in 2000), and tours in the UK, Europe and the United States, Lakeman left Equation in 2001. He joined his brother Sam and Sam's wife Cara Dillon and appeared on Dillon's eponymous debut album, which featured Lakeman on fiddle, guitar and vocals.[3] The album won two awards at the 2002 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.[4]

Solo work[edit]

In 2002 Lakeman released his first solo album, The Punch Bowl, produced by elder brother Sean Lakeman which received wide critical acclaim including a review in fRoots magazine which said: "The songs don't just glide smoothly by.....they get their claws into you".[citation needed]

Kitty Jay, Lakeman's second solo album was released in 2004. This was also produced by brother Sean Lakeman in his kitchen. The title track of the album tells the story of Jay's Grave, a well known location on Dartmoor. The album was recorded for a cost of less than £300.[5] Kitty Jay reached silver status in the UK . That same year he collaborated with Devon singer-songwriter Steve Knightley and young local singer Jenna Witts on the album Western Approaches.

A UK tour in Autumn 2005 followed his Mercury Music Prize nomination, after which Lakeman and his band (regularly brother Sean Lakeman (guitar), Ben Nichols (bass), Andy Tween (drums)), toured extensively with folk-rock band The Levellers, who took to closing their set with a "fiddle off" between Lakeman and Levellers' fiddler Jonathan Sevink.[citation needed] Other support tours with Billy Bragg and Jools Holland brought Lakeman's music to a wider audience.

In March 2006 Lakeman began a UK tour to promote his new album Freedom Fields which was released on iScream. Produced again by Sean Lakeman, he signed to a new major record label, Relentless Records, promptly releasing a new single "Lady of the Sea" in early August 2006. This record went gold making it one of the biggest selling traditionally based folk records ever in the UK.[citation needed]

His fourth solo album, Poor Man's Heaven, was released on 30 June 2008 with an accompanying tour. It introduced a rockier edge to the folk of the previous albums. It was also the last album to be produced by Sean Lakeman and it was awarded silver levels of sales in the UK.

Lakeman's fifth album, Hearts & Minds, was released on 19 July 2010. Produced by studio veteran Tchad Blake[6] Lakeman released his sixth album called Tales from the Barrel House on 18 November 2011. In 2014 the Word Of Mouth album was released.[7]

In 2018 Lakeman released another album, The Well Worn Path.[7] His most recent album, Make Your Mark, was released in 2021.[8]

Lakeman performing at Folk by the Oak Festival, Hatfield House in 2008



Lakeman's primary musical instruments are the violin, the tenor guitar, the banjo and the viola.

Personal life[edit]

Lakeman was married in 2012 to his longterm fiancée, Hannah Edwards, at Withiel, near Wadebridge in Cornwall. During the church service, the bride's 90-year-old grandfather, who is a Cornish bard, read a blessing in Cornish.[11] The wedding was described by Lakeman's father, Geoff, as a "mini-festival". Among the wedding guests who also made performance contributions were Cara Dillon, Steve Potter, Steve Knightley, Cormac Byrne, Patsy Reid and Mad Dog Mcrea.[12]



  • "The Bold Knight" (2005)
  • "Lady of the Sea" (2006) #52
  • "The White Hare" (2006) #47
  • "King & Country" (2006)
  • "Poor Man's Heaven" (EP) (2007) #95
  • "The Hurlers" (2008)
  • "Crimson Dawn" (2008)
  • "Solomon Brown" (2008) about the Penlee lifeboat disaster
  • "Hearts & Minds" (2010)
  • "Tiny World" (2010)
  • "Stepping Over You" (2010)
  • "Blacksmiths Prayer" (2011)
  • "More Than Money" (2011)
  • "Portrait of My Wife" (2013)
  • "The Courier" (2014)
  • "Last Rider" (2014)


As main artist[edit]


With The Lakeman Brothers[edit]

  • Three Piece Suite (1994)

With Equation[edit]

  • Hazy Days (1998)
  • The Lucky Few (1999)
  • Dark Ages E.P. (2000)
  • First Name Terms (2002)
  • Return to Me (2003)

With Steve Knightley and Jenna Witts[edit]

With the Full English[edit]

  • The Full English is a folk music digital archive project. Lakeman joined Fay Heild, Martin Simpson and others to create a Full English group to record folk songs for the archive, followed by a national tour. (Topic, 7 October 2013)


  1. ^ "The old man fights back... Geoff Lakeman steps into the spotlight". Western Morning News. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  2. ^ Petridis, Alexis (2 June 2008). "Seth Lakeman, Poor Man's Heaven". The Guardian. London.
  3. ^ Jason MacNeil (5 February 2002). "Cara Dillon – Cara Dillon | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Radio 2 – Folk Awards 2008 – Previous Winners". BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  5. ^ Irwin, Colin (3 July 2008). "Seth Lakeman: to the sea!". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Seth Lakeman – Hearts&Minds". Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  7. ^ a b c "Seth Lakeman | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  8. ^ Tomkins, Peter (10 December 2021). "Seth Lakeman "Make Your Mark"".
  9. ^ "Radio X". Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Lakeman claims BBC folk accolades". BBC News. 5 February 2007.
  11. ^ "Folk musician Seth marries his Cornish sweetheart | Western Morning News". 6 June 2012. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  12. ^ Herald, Plymouth (6 June 2012). "Star Seth's wedding 'like a mini festival' | Plymouth Herald". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  13. ^ Charles De Ledesma (2007). "Seth Lakeman The Punch Bowl Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
  14. ^ Tomkins, Peter (10 December 2021). "Seth Lakeman "Make Your Mark"".
  15. ^ "SETH LAKEMAN – Make Your Mark (Honour Oak Records)". 16 November 2021.
  16. ^ Official Charts. "Folk Albums Chart 01/08/2023".

External links[edit]