Music and kung fu – what bliss

Well, I promised an entry about the Seth Lakeman gig, and here it is.

On Wednesday afternoon, I made my way to Brighton and Laz’s place, to give me plenty of time to have a shower and get ready. We walked to the Concorde 2, knowing we had plenty of time to get there, and shared a Guinness and black while the support act was on.

When we made our way into the main room, Laz showed me where the backstage area was, and there was Seth, but he was just about to go on stage and we didn’t want to disturb him (and besides, there were a couple of security guys there – one of them said he would make sure my ‘gift’ reached Seth, but I said no thanks, I’d rather give it to him myself afterwards). The set began with a couple of tracks from his new (and almost sold out) limited edition album, Tales From The Barrel House and then he interspersed this with more familiar tracks, such as The Hurlers, Ye Mariners All and Setting of the Sun. At one point, the band disappeared from the stage, leaving Seth alone with his violin, and as soon as he hit the first note, everyone knew what was happening and started going bananas: it was Kitty Jay, the song that he had recorded in his kitchen and which the folkie press went nuts over, shooting him to fame. It was a sweaty gig, but also included my favourite from the new album, called Salt From Our Veins, which he introduced by saying, considering we’re by the seaside… which instantly told me what the song was about (viz, you can take the girl away from the sea but you can’t take the sea away from the girl). That was a nice surprise. He ended with two hoedowns: Blood Upon Copper, which, unlike the album recording, speeds up halfway through and the crowd invariably goes berserk, and ending with Race To Be King, a song about whaling – controversial subject matter but which makes for great songs, and this one is a bouncy, dancey number that makes everyone totally rock out.

Afterwards, there was a long queue of people (mainly young women) to meet him, and I’d taken my copy of the new CD and his live DVD for him to sign. He greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and then I said that, just like last time I’d met him, I’d brought cake! He said he ate the last one and that it was really good, so I introduced the maker of said cake, which meant Laz had to come out from the shadows as Seth was holding out a ‘great cake, man!’ hand for him to shake. It was lovely to see him again and I look forward to next time.

Yesterday, I finally did my part for the Claremont Project charity fundraising thing. I did the suang yang class as normal (just as well, as it meant I was reasonably warmed up afterwards) and during the kung fu class, I earned my sponsor money by doing 13 laps of duck walk (500 m), 250 leg lifts, a minute of iron bridge (man, that hurt, I had to draw upon anger to get me through it, and Dave and Kerry’s son Alexander did it with me), 1000 punches and 333 upper crane blocks. Lise and Kerry took photos, some of which are below, and Dave taunted me all the way through by saying no photos until I was sweating, and I wasn’t doing it fast enough (all par for the course). So, I’ve now earned my sponsor money and will be collecting it over the next couple of weeks.

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