ARARAT - Ararat Live is gearing up for one of the biggest nights it has hosted when celebrated folk singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman performs next Tuesday night at the Ararat Hotel.
Lakeman is currently one of England's leading folk/rock singer-songwriters and is a noted guitar and fiddle player as well as playing other instruments.
While in Australia Lakeman's tour itinerary includes the Port Fairy Folk Festival, Womad in Adelaide, the National Folk Festival in Canberra and Bluesfest in Byron Bay.
His gig in Ararat is a Bluesfest sideshow and came about after one of Ararat Lives' favourites Carus Thompson recommended the Ararat gig as a place to enjoy performing in a small and intimate venue with an appreciative crowd and great hospitality.
Lakeman said one of the things he was most looking forward to was the Australian weather, after spending the past few months touring in Belgium and Germany during Europe's notoriously cold winter.
"I came out on tour last year and had such a good time, so I can't wait to get back," he said.
"It will be my first time in the Ararat area, so I am really looking forward to getting there and having a look around.
"We've got three weeks to explore the sites in a different way to last time. We are going on a road trip so we can see everything from the ground, whereas last time we did a lot of flying to places."
While on tour Lakeman will be backed by a band which includes his brothers Sean and Sam.
Since 2002 he has released seven studio albums and for his latest production 'Tales from the Barrel House', Lakeman has not only written all the songs, but played every musical contribution himself as well as producing and mixing the album in its entirety.
"It is quite upbeat and has been influenced a lot by Australian music," he said.
"It is very British in the way it was written, but there are certainly elements that are fundamental with Australian artists.
"I have always enjoyed music by the Waifs and the John Butler Trio. I love the energetic tones and the way the crowds respond to that.
"I will play music from all six records, it will be a whole combination and I will just pick songs that will mostly keep the crowd reacting and on their feet - That is the aim."
Ararat Live organiser Dave Nicholson said Lakeman's appearance was a real win for the Ararat Live group, particularly attracting the attention of not only an outstanding international act but also that of a major touring company.
"To make a football analogy, having Seth play in Ararat is the equivalent of getting Buddy Franklin to pull on the boots for the Moyston/Willaura reserves," he said.
"Bringing such a high profile act to Ararat Live has meant a slight jump in the ticket price to $25, but one look at a YouTube video of Seth and it should have the region's music fans diving into their wallets to make sure that they don't miss a memorable Tuesday night in the Red Room."
Seth Lakeman will perform at the Ararat Hotel on Tuesday, March 12.