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Lightweights and Gentlemen: Lau - Lau show themselves to be gentlemanly musical heavyweights
on 23 September 2013
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.