Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman ~ Thu 13th May 2004

Heart Of Lincolnshire Folk, Roots & Blues Club, Eagle Lodge Hotel, Woodhall Spa

Local folk fans have already had a feast of their favourite music so far this month with appearances by Clive Gregson at Spalding Folk Club and Bill Whaley & Dave Fletcher at Boston Folk Club attracting larger than normal attendances and a tour by the Catriona MacDonald Trio also doing well, with a sell out concert at Hemingby Village Hall. Perhaps the sheer number of folk gigs had an effect on audience numbers at the Heart Of Lincolnshire Folk, Roots & Blues Club where Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, top of folk's brightest young stars drew a disappointing small audience.

Roberts and Lakeman's return to their roots has resulted in a recent nomination for Best Duo in the BBC Folk Awards. Their sound is based around Kathryn's superb voice and Sean's astute guitar work. Kathryn who won the prestigious BBC Young Tradition Award in 1994 also plays piano on some numbers as well as flute and saxophone on others. For the concert at the Eagle Lodge Hotel in Woodhall Spa, they chose to perform without any amplification, except for the piano, thus retaining the traditional folk club feel. A blackbird added its song for one number during the first half too.

If transformed into films many traditional folk songs would have an 18 certificate, the macabre, lust, passion and war are often interwoven and passed down through the generations in song. Kathryn and Sean's set certainly did not disappoint here, they interspersed each number with stories that elaborated on the background to songs such as 'The Red Barn' which recounts the murder of Maria Marten in East Anglia many years ago and 'The Maid Of Whitby' a story of the world's oldest profession.

Not all of their songs come from the tradition though, and here Roberts and Lakeman have chosen some particularly interesting songs to cover, including Lowell George's '20 Million Things' and 'Granite Mill' written by the young American band Cordelia's Dad who some may recall played in the county some years back. For the encore they performed 'Joe Peel', a song about the well respected Workington rugby player of yesteryear.

Despite the small turnout, Kathryn and Sean remarked that the gig had been their most enjoyable for some time, due to the relaxed and informal atmosphere. Floor spots by Mike Jones, Dave Kemish and skiffle group Jet provided additional entertainment during the interval.