Barely anything used to be or still is written about Seth Lakeman without reference being made to his appearance. Nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2005 and winner of Singer of the Year and Best Album at the BBC Folk Awards, this unusually good looking chap seemed to carry the weight of contemporary folk on his shoulders for a while. But this isn’t a genre of music where looks alone are enough to pull in much of a crowd and it is his energetic, contemporary rhythm and heartfelt, vivid lyrics that have drawn in the wide audience of folk, indie and pop fans who follow him today.

Born in Devon, he started making music with his brothers Sean and Sam at an early age and The Lakeman Brothers’ debut release Three Piece Suit won critical acclaim in 1994. His brothers featured on his debut solo album The Punch Bowl in 2002, as did the vocals of Kathryn Roberts and Cara Dillon. Two years later, follow-up Kitty Jay was the record nominated for a Mercury Prize, with Lakeman particularly praised for his songwriting: later, when writing about his next album Freedom Field in 2006 The Guardian commended his ability “to tackle stories of mining tragedies or the English civil war with an easygoing passion and urgency that make them seem like contemporary events”

Seth Lakeman played the first Moseley Folk festival in 2006 and by 2008, when he closed the festival with an amazing Sunday headline set, he was four albums into his solo career, having released top 10 record Poor Man’s Heaven the same year. Mojo wrote, as anyone who saw the shows would testify, “his band has a possibly Led Zeppelin related sense of how acoustic fiddle, guitar and double bass riffs can weigh heavy as metal”.

Alongside shows at all the big folk festivals, Lakeman has played V, Glastonbury and SXSW. He has supported the likes of Jethro Tull and Tori Amos, and sold out solo shows worldwide. Since last playing Moseley Folk, he has released three more top 20 albums – Hearts & Minds (2010), Word of Mouth (2014), and Ballads of the Broken Few (2016), so there’ll be plenty of new material for us to hear as well as old favourites.