Leading folk-scene duo play Eastbourne date

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Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, one of the British folk scene’s most enduring partnerships, are the guests at Eastbourne Lamb Folk Club on Wednesday, May 15 at the Lamb Inn, High Street, Eastbourne, BN21 1HH.

Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Admission is £8 (cash) on the door.

The Dartmoor-based husband and wife have twice won the Best Duo title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, as well as Best Duo at the Folking.com awards and Spiral Earth awards. Kathryn was born and raised in the South Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley and has sung since she could speak. Her musical parents took great delight in introducing her to many types of music, including a regular summer trawl of folk festivals. An early duo career with fellow Barnsleyite Kate Rusby led to the teaming up with three brothers from West Devon – the Lakemans. As the eldest of the three Lakeman brothers, Sean was raised on Dartmoor and has played the guitar since the age of six. He was recognised at an early age as one of the most promising guitarists around. Sean learned his trade and travelled the world for a decade with Folkpopsters Equation.

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Last year Kathryn and Sean brought out the album Almost A Sunset. Their seventh album, it offered a collection of songs that range from re-worked traditional ballads to the off-piste storytelling style that has become their trademark. For the album, Kathryn and Sean were able to call on the talents of their teenage twin daughters Poppy and Lily. Poppy sings backing vocals on the opening track Eavesdropper whilst Lily's artistic flair can be seen in the striking photography used for the album design. As Kathryn says: “The girls have provided inspiration for many of our songs over the years but it lovely that they feel they can help us out in a more practical way as they grow older and their talents shine through.”

Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman (contributed pic)Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman (contributed pic)
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman (contributed pic)

Sean added: “To be honest, even without the pandemic, the album would probably have taken five years for us to do because we like to take our time. We don't feel any particular pressure to be on the cycle of tour album tour album. We are in fortunate position where we’re not involved in any other projects and when we release an album it is something that we like to hone and craft. When you are gigging obviously you have got other commitments in terms of dates but there's something very different about recording and we like to do it in our own way. Really an album happens when we have got a body of work, maybe half a dozen songs, and then we start to form a picture in our mind of what we want to do with it.”

As Kathryn says: “It is just a collection of songs. We're not artists that set out to have a theme and follow a particular path… or at least we haven't yet.

"It is just about the songs and the stories that we are interested in telling. We do live on Dartmoor and so we do take things nice and steady at our own pace!”