Folkster Seth Lakeman is now up to album number seven. By now, you are confident you know whether his music is palatable to you or not. Lakeman is at the forefront of what could be described as the modern folk scene – something of an oxymoron – but he hails from a folk family and his previous band was one with his brothers, named The Lakeman Brothers.

As usual, Lakeman approaches his subject in a modest and humble manner. No vainglorious sermons from the mount as he sings about the common man, the engine drivers and the dockworkers. Occasionally, however, you just wish he were tempted to give the songs some edge and enter unchartered territory.

Songs like ‘The Wanderer’, ‘The Ranger’, ‘Another Long Night’ and‘Each Man’trundle along and are sufficiently heartfelt, in that welcome to sleep way. Quickfire repeat plays these are not. Still, there are several songs, including ‘Labour She Calls Home’, which climb outside the parameters – a case of the resistible force meeting the moveable object.

At this point in Lakeman’s career, it is unlikely a thunderbolt will hit him and encourage a new path, but he does the conventional folkie well.

3.5/5 stars

Word Of Mouth out now on Cooking Vinyl.

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