Concert Review – Geoff Lakeman

Geoff Lakeman – Lichfield Guildhall December 1st 2019

Words by Ben Macnair

Photography by Dave Jones

With little more than a concertina, a pleasing, road-worn tenor voice, and a repertoire of songs and instrumentals that took from the folk, country, traditional and American genres, Geoff Lakeman played for an attentive audience when he made his debut at Lichfield Guildhall.

Although his sons, Sean, Sam and Seth are all leading folk musicians, with successful careers as solo performers, producers, and sidemen, Geoff Lakeman is a journalist by training. His interest in the world, and all of the issues that affect it was evident in both his choice of songs, and the topics of conversation that he tackled between the songs.

With traditional songs, a few choice instrumentals, and songs by the likes of modern writers such as Randy Newman, Hank Williams and Buddy and Julie Miller there was much to appreciate. Although the Concertina was not the most obvious of accompanying instruments to songs that had been initially written on guitars or piano, the thought that had gone into the arrangements of the music was very evident. Most notably during such songs as the well known Wall Street crash song, How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live, or during the biting, satirical humour of Randy Newman’s A Little Bit of Silence.

Folks songs also worked well with such songs as The Green Cockade, and the work song When the Potatoes are all Done being early highlights. The Shepton Mallet/Miss Gaynor were two spirited Hornpipes, while two waltz’s The Ottoman Waltz and Josephine’s Waltz showed the Concertina of to good effect. Country songs also featured, with excellent readings of Hank William’s songs You Win Again and the encore of Peach Picking Time.

« Back to previous page