(3 / 5)
Folk star Seth Lakeman’s latest offering, the ambitious concept album “A Pilgrim’s Tale” is a pleasing musical narrative of the Mayflower’s journey from Plymouth to the Americas in 1620 – ahead of the 400th anniversary in September.
Narrated by actor Paul McGann, the 12-track record features guest performers Cara Dillon, Benji Kirkpatrick, Ben Nicholls and Seth’s father Geoff Lakeman.
The seed was sown for this project when Devon-based Seth visited the ship’s destination after its historic 66-day voyage to the “new world”, Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, while he was on tour with Robert Plant.
There he met descendants of the Wampanoag people, who confronted the Mayflower’s British and Dutch passengers 400 years ago.
He travelled 20 minutes from his home and studio to do his own research, to the Mayflower Steps on Plymouth’s cobbled streets, which brought back memories of fishing on that quay as a boy, singing songs on tall ships tied up there, and playing music in almost every sailor’s pub in the town.
He also referred to journals penned by William Bradford, and the various national heritage sites in the UK.
The songs are told from a variety of perspectives, from personal accounts such as the opening number “Watch Out” – detailing deadly premonitions of a Wampanoag girl; to tales of the travellers in songs such as “Pilgrim Brother” and “Sailing Time”.
Seth plays violin, viola, E tenor guitar, bouzouki, drums and Harmonium and takes on the vocals, with the multi-skilling musician Benji Kirkpatrick in his corner. The narration was written by associate director of Plymouth’s Theatre Royal, Nick Stimson.
If you a history buff, if you are a folk fan, if you enjoy Seth Lakeman’s output and if you want to listen to something a wee bit different, go get it…
By Christoper Weston
(1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’