Music festival headliner talks about Hatfield House concert

PUBLISHED: 21:24 21 July 2011

Seth Lakeman will headline Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House

Seth Lakeman will headline Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House


AHEAD of Folk by the Oak 2011 in the grounds of Hatfield House this weekend, the Welwyn Hatfield Times caught up with festival headliner Seth Lakeman.

SETH Lakeman has emerged from a mine to speak to the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

No, really – the 34-year-old multi-instrumentalist has just spent the last two nights down an old copper and tin mine near Dartmoor (where he was born and raised) recording a track for his next, as-yet-untitled album.

The song, apparently, is about a miner, and so Lakeman thought it appropriate to go down the shaft himself to truly capture the authentic sound of life underground.

It’s the sort of approach to music that Lakeman seems to favour, and one that he is now free to pursue, having left his record label last year.

“The album’s about professions from the past,” Lakeman says.

“There’s a song about a blacksmith, a watchmaker, a miner... we’re recording this album using old workmen’s tools as percussion.

“It’s a rootsier kind of sound, and I’ve been looking forward to doing it for some time.”

Having split with his label Relentless Records, a subsidiary of EMI, Lakeman is enjoying this new DIY aesthetic.

“Financially and musically it’s better. Certainly for this project – there was no way EMI would’ve let me do this.

“I enjoyed the four years I was with them and I can’t knock them, but it’s nice to be able to do what I want.”

He adds: “Who knows what people are going to think?”

The people will get a chance to decide for themselves when Lakeman headlines this year’s Folk by the Oak festival at Hatfield House on Sunday.

“It should be a good one,” says Lakeman.

“Hatfield House is an incredible place to play. As a venue for a show, it’s stunning.

“We’ll be sticking a couple of new songs in.

“We’ll just try and do our thing and keep it up.

“Get people dancing and keep them dancing.”

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