ST IVES beat Robert Plant in a bid for West Country folk star Seth Lakeman as the St Ives September Festival burst into life last weekend.

Seth had delayed rejoining the legendary Led Zeppelin frontman on his USA tour in order to honour his St Ives Guildhall booking.

He told the wildly appreciative audience: “The dates clashed and we came here!

“It’s a while since I’ve played St Ives and we’ve had a great night. I’m ‘local’ and I wasn’t going to let the festival down.”

Seth has spent most of this year touring the world with Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters but said no to the first night of the latest leg of their tour at the LouFest Music Festival at Central Field in Forest Park, St Louis, Missouri.

After having the audience dancing in the aisles, Seth dashed home to Devon for a night in his own bed before flying out on Sunday for Monday night’s second tour date at the Arvest Bank Theatre in Kansas City.

Festival chairman Mary English said: “The festival has got off to a fantastic start and there is so much more to come.”

Cuban band Son Yambu had a packed Guildhall vibrating to their salsa beat on Sunday before Cornwall shanty favourites Fisherman’s Friends’ sold out gig.

Next week’s highlights include Welsh indie band Rusty Shackle, The Whitetop Mountain Band from Virginia, new Cornwall rock band All Gods Fall and Ronnie Scott’s All Stars from the famous London Jazz Club.

The music and art festival has more than 300 events and continues until September 22.