Sunday, April 27, 2008

Seth Lakeman / Tuung / Sharron Kraus @ Birmingham Town Hall Saturday 26th April 2008

Day two of the English Originals weekend and we spent a very lovely afternoon drinking cider in The Wellington pub and chatting to Morris Men (who clearly know how to drink). Anyway, first up Sharron Kraus who, despite having a voice as delicate as a spiders web in a really heavy draft, specialises in songs about murder and 'insect incest'. Shades of Vashti Bunyan in the vocals, with the rest of her band providing an equally gentle backdrop...for all the insect incest, murder, rape and general bad goings on. It's some serious shit this folk(e) business you know.

Next up Tuung. Why two 'u' idea...I'm sure it means something. Answers on a real tongue please. Additional vowels aside, I like Tuung. They're folk with attitude. The Beta Band for Nick Drake fans. Can't remember the name of the track that they played towards the end of the set, but the lead male Tunng proudly informed us that it was inspired by Megadeth and Slayer. You wouldn't get that from Steeleye Span. You wouldn't get something as gentle but hard hitting as glorious set closer Bullets from the Span either. What's so great about Tuung is the way they mix all that electronic weirdness into the folk pot without it jarring. Jenius (yes I know you spell genius with a 'g' but I'm experimenting with my own form of spelying. There. Did it again).

Last up, Lady Baron's poster boy, Sexy Seth Lakeman. There were a fair few ladies in the audience who started rubbing themselves in strange, most un-folk like places when he came on stage. Obviously trying to find their Kitty Jay (Humphrey Lyttleton RIP). You can't help but like our Seth. He is one of the most exciting folk artists for generations and he seems to be opening up more and more ears to the music. This gig was sold out. Not bad for a guy who still plays in his local. King and Country is genuinely moving, Kitty Jay remains as fresh sounding as a Spring morn and Lady of the Sea makes you want to get up and dance naked on a beach with a salty dog and the odd mermaid (yes, I know mermaids don't have legs...they could just lie there and flap about a bit...or do the 'worm'). The one great shame of the night was the lack of Moorish Delta 7. If you didn't see the Made In England programme last week it showed our Seth making a track with Birmingham hip hop crew MD7. It left you with oodles more respect for both parties...MD7 for risking cred and Seth for leaving for the safety of Dartmoor for the mean streets of Newtown. Unlike some attempts at mixing different styles this one really seemed to work and it's a real shame that this collaboration wasn't part of the night. However you can check out the track, Find Your Way, and other MD7 tunes (Confessions is well worth a spin) on their My Space jobbie.

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