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Lightweights & Gentlemen (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

LAU are something of a young Scottish supergroup, a trio consisting of guitarist and vocalist Kris Drever, accordionist Martin Green, and fiddler Aidan O'Rourke. All three have made names for themselves as both sidemen to the stars and as solo or duo artists. Their first album as a trio is a bracing blend of traditional and modern elements — the reel and jig sets have a traditional form but all consist of modern compositions by one or another of the musicians in the band, and most of them (notably O'Rourke's "Hinba" and Drever's slightly jazzy "Waiting for the Results") have a melodic edginess to them that speaks of impatient youth and of a talent that wants to push the boundaries of tradition. Green's "Come on Wee Man!" accomplishes the same goal by simply jumping cultures, evoking Europe and maybe Latin America as well. Drever distinguishes himself on a stately and splendid rendition of Ewan MacColl's "Freeborn Man." Near the end of the album things bog down a bit — the instrumental "Gallowhill" and the "Twa Stewarts" set are both a bit enervated, at least until the final tune of that last set kicks in and blows the cobwebs away. Recommended overall.


Formed: 2006 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

Named after an Orcadian word meaning "natural light" (though they deliberately misspelled it from "lowe"), Lau formed in Edinburgh in 2006 and were quickly hailed as a band of rare innovation and invention. The three founders, Aidan O'Rourke, Kris Drever, and Martin Green, were all much admired musicians in their own right, widely experienced playing in various disparate bands, but in all cases Lau represents their most challenging and satisfying musical advance in a band set up as a deliberate antidote...
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Lightweights & Gentlemen (Bonus Track Version), Lau
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