2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This 2007 release is the first album from `folk' supergroup LAU. I put folk into inverted commas as they are so much more than that. Consisting of Kris Drever, Aidan O'Rourke and Martin Green, I genuinely think that they are one of the most exciting things on the music scene at the moment.
My wife and I first came to Lau through Kris Drever - we had been exploring some Roddy Woomble albums, and had been captivated by Drever's voice on `Before the Ruin'. We got his two excellent solo albums, and then realised he is also part of a group, so we started to get these albums as well. And what an amazing set of albums these guys have produced!
The sound of Lau is made up of Drever's guitar and vocals, Green's accordion and O'Rourke's fiddle. They are rooted in the folk traditions of the British isles, but are pretty experimental and boundary pushing. This debut album is more traditional than their later works, but there is still very much a feel of pushing the boundaries and trying out new musical ideas. With a great mix of jigs and reels, contrasted with slow melancholic essays on life and love, the three mesh together to produce an amazing sound. I have never heard an accordion pumped quite as hard as this, there are times when you fear Green is about to burst the bellows, then suddenly you are into a sweet passage with Kris Drever's simple and beautiful singing completely entrancing you. Then back to a ferocious jig, and O'Rourke's fiddle strings threatening to spontaneously combust with the friction from his frantic and impassioned bowing. It's a real delight of an album, 5 stars.
This 2012 re-release of the original 2007 album is a real treasure, containing not only the original album, but also a live concert that manages to convey some of the energy tese guys generate on stag, and the rapport that they have with their audience.
I loved this album from start to finish, 5 stars.
on 23 February 2013
A random ( and on reflection ) an inspired purchase of Lau's latest CD " Race the loser" , led me to investigate further.
Unable to wait, I bought Kris Drever's Blackwater in it's original release, even though a later one is available ( just like "Lightweights" ) in a re-mastered, plus live recording.
All of the music I have heard so far is matchless. That an acoustic trio can show much invention, passion, originality, excitement and perhaps just shameless enjoyment of their own creations and ability to present it so well, is a joy to experience.
My first hearings of Lightweights have picked out 'Free born man', 'Sea',' Lang Set' as instant likes, but frankly, everything here is to be listened to, and just enjoyed. It is all so pleasurable.
I missed them in their last brief outing here in the Netherlands, finding out just a touch too late, but this is one band I would really love to experience live, since the live CD bonus with this release shows they can reproduce and enhance their studio performances.
A deserving winner of a Folk award in 2013, but this should not put off non-folkies from listening.
If you enjoy good music, you will love Lau.
(Listening to some of this again today, it struck me that the sound they produce is reminiscent of 'Hoover the Dog', a trio from Wales featuring a mix of similar instruments. I haven't heard of Hoover for years, but their "Scratch 'n'n Sniff" CD was a cracker )
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2013
very different combination of sounds which makes it for easy listning,saw them on jools holland and made up my mind to get the cd.Wasnt dissapointed so look forward to more music from them.
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2012
Sublime anarchic folk music.
Lau redefine how a trio can sound, arming
themselves with both highly original repertoire and
superb takes on traditional material. What strikes you is
their fearless appetite for improv, some tunes dig deep
into a wild array of genres taking in their influnece from around the world and spitting them out in a near perfect folk -pysche stew !
Lau's sophisticated arrangements add genuine emotion to their instrumentals whilst Kris Drever's singing on the three songs included " Butcher Boy" , " Unquiet Grave"and " Freeborn Man" match any song on his classic " Black Water" Lau won the BBC Folk Award for Best Group 2008,2009 and 2010 setting a new bench mark for innovation within instrumental and traditional music, surely one of the greatest folk releases of the last decade, if not all time!