Link to Living Tradition Homepage





LAU - Decade: The Best Of 2007-2017

LAU - Decade: The Best Of 2007-2017
Private Label LAU2017CDX

Can it really be 10 years since the three-pronged attack called Lau arrived on the scene? Well, it's actually slightly longer, but close enough to their 10th anniversary to make this a good time to survey what they have achieved since they first sat down around a kitchen table in Leith and started bouncing ideas off each other. The line-up, which initially sprang from a variety of duos, experimented for a year before playing live. If there was ever an antidote to the notion that folk music is somehow less demanding than other genres, Lau is surely that.

Those early days are represented by the first track on their Lightweights And Gentlemen album of 2007, Hinba. It is significant, though, that the opening cut on this retrospective should be a traditional song – The Unquiet Grave. In fact, for me and I would guess many of their early fans, it is the voice and guitar of Kris Drever that keeps the whole thing rooted. With him having a 33 and a third percent stake in it, there is no danger of the project dissolving into any sort of folky free-form jazz, or even a Scots version of the superior elevator music of Clannad.

Lau have never minded tackling a tune at length and The Lang Set, reproduced here in its 2011 version, is well named, weighing in at a hefty 14 minutes plus. Lightweights? Hardly. In fact, the whole 76 minute compilation reeks of a willingness to give the music the extra elbow room it clamours for. It also makes it remarkably good value. If anyone hasn't quite made up their mind about Lau's role in the great scheme of things, it might not be a bad place to start.

Dave Hadfield

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.