Wednesday 23 February 2011


Last night, as a diversion from natural history and Our Lass's book learnin', we decamped to The Stables theatre for a gig by the hard-to-classify folk fusion trio, Lau

We were accompanied by Dr Jelly, whose love for squidgy marine creatures is only equalled by his passion for jiggy music. Having first dined in the bijou theatre cafe, we moved through to the auditorium for some aural gymnastics.

Lau comprise of singer/guitarist Kris Drever, fiddler Aidan O'Rourke and piano accordionist Martin Green. They are as happy belting out traditional Celtic folk, that wouldn't be out of place at a ceilidh, as they are, what to my mind feels like, prog rock. 

The sonic textures built by Lau create a heady atmosphere. Both discord and harmony are treated like friends, a trait that echoes one of my favourite bands, Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Continuing the progressive rock analogy, there's something of Ian Anderson, the Jethro Tull singer and flautist, in Martin's persona, helped by his excellent stage banter and full throttle accordion playing.

There's something about trios, too. I've mentioned ELP already, but Lau have an on-stage chemistry that is shared by many other genres of threesome. Aidan seems slightly nervy, Kris is calmness personified, whilst Martin is the cheeky scruff. Think of The Goodies, Last of the Summer Wine or their blunt contemporaries, the Top Gear team. Three very different characters, each bringing something different to the ensemble so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We thoroughly enjoyed Lau's music, long live the unholy trinity.

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