'It is lovely to be able to share the experiences of being on the road' - Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman

Tuesday, 13 February

Artist Interview

Valentines Day

This Valentine's Day we chatted with husband and wife and musical duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman all about the benefits and challenges of working and living together. 

Could you tell us a bit about who you are and your work?

We are Sean Lakeman and Kathryn Roberts and we are a married couple who have worked together as a music-playing duo for nearly 30 years. We live on Dartmoor and have twin teenage daughters who are also musical. We perform traditional and original songs on guitar and piano and voice.

What inspires your music?

We were both brought up in the British Folk scene and have a deep love of old songs and stories. We enjoy writing original material in a traditional style and love exploring the rich heritage of stories in our local area on Dartmoor. We are always on the lookout for interesting titbits to develop into songs when out on the road touring.

Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman

What are the benefits of being a married musical duo?

We have known each other for so long and worked in close quarters for most of that time. We are very intuitive now and are comfortable and confident in each other's company. From a very practical point of view when we are on tour we only need one vehicle and one hotel room! Plus it is lovely to be able to share the experiences of being on the road.

What do you think is the most romantic song and why?

Romance is hard to define, isn’t it? For some people it’s a bunch of flowers, for others, it might be a cup of tea in bed in the morning. There are so many songs about love that it is often the ones that find an unusual way of explaining it that tend to stick in the mind. We did write a song about Kathryn’s beloved instrument called ‘My Piano and I’ - it soon got adapted for Valentine's Day gigs as ‘My Darling and I’.

K+S Almost A Sunset

How do you collaborate when writing a song?

Kathryn tends to write lyrics and then throws a whole load of them to Sean to see if any catch his eye. Only once we have settled on a story that we both feel we’d like to tell do we start playing around with chords and melodies together.

What challenges does working and living together pose?

The trickiest thing is discipline with regard to setting strict working times. It’s too easy to still be answering emails at 10pm or breaking off a rehearsal to pick up kids from school or lose momentum when writing a song as the dog has to be walked! We try very hard to keep a balance between work life and home life otherwise you accidentally end up discussing contracts over a family dinner.

K+S 2023 Press

What advice would you give to artists who work and live together?

Working with your partner is a wonderful thing but takes a bit of consideration. It’s important to still have your own interests and time apart and be clear when allocating tasks to each person, including running the household. That way no one feels ‘put upon‘ or under-appreciated. Balance is key.

Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman K+S Live 12 MB

We'd like to thank Kathryn and Sean for this interview.

For more information on upcoming shows, please click here.

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