Seth came to wide acclaim when his second solo album Kitty Jay was nominated for the Mercury Music prize in 2005, which propelled him from a word of mouth phenomenon to one of the best selling folk artists in the country.
To most of the public he came out of nowhere, but he had started recording when he was still at school in the form of the CD Three Piece Suite by the Lakeman Brothers, with his brothers Sean and Sam (now married to Cara Dillon).
In 1995 Seth, Sam and Sean founded the group Equation with Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts, Cara Dillon eventually replaced Kate Rusby. Anywhere you see Equation mentioned it's usually after the phrase 'folk supergroup'. They toured in Europe and the US and headlined many major festivals.
In 2001 Cara and Sam left Equation to pursue Cara's solo career, Seth went with them and contributed fiddle, guitar and vocal work on her debut album as well as touring with them.
In 2002 Seth produced his debut solo album The Punchbowl. recorded on a shoestring in his brother Sean's kitchen in Devon, it was all material written by Seth and featured most of his family on a variety of instruments. This recording revealed Seth as a musician and songwriter steeped in the folk tradition but unafraid to push the envelope and produce a contemporary album.
The critically acclaimed follow up was Kitty Jay in 2004. The Seth Lakeman 'sound' as a fully rounded experience; his frenetic fiddle playing and equally distinctive guitar set against his voice described as 'half rock, half folk', chuck in boy band good looks and you've got a recipe for success.
His songwriting concentrates on the legends and landscape of Dartmoor. He's been described as having music in his blood, but he also seems to have this deep sense of place, of Devon and Dartmoor. His songwriting has the assured hand of a master craftsman who understands and resonates with his material.
Having taken the leap of signing to a major label off the back his self financed debut, Seth’s 3rd album Freedom Fields sold over 100,000 copies following its release in 2006. Since then Lakeman has been branded the ‘Poster Boy of Folk’ (much to his exasperation), has toured constantly, performing to 15,000 in the ‘New Band Tent’ at the 2007 V Festival as well as on two stages at Glastonbury, and has made significant inroads internationally. On his latest album Poor Man’s Heaven he continues to take his own brand of ‘indie-folk’ to a whole new generation.
Produced in large part by Seth’s brother and fellow band member, Sean Lakeman, Poor Man’s Heaven represents a progression for Seth’s sound – while remaining firmly rooted in folk, it moves from a more acoustic-based feel to a fuller, rockier sound, underpinned as ever by emotive lyrics and story telling, this time with a strong coastal theme.