One of the brightest lights in the world of modern folk music, Lau have established themselves as a top quality live act. Come and discover their beguiling, original, award-winning sound.
The band has an extensive upcoming tour planned for the UK. Some of the excellent venues that will be hosting them include The Stables in Milton Keynes, J1 in Cambridge, Turner Sims in Southampton, The Arts Centre in Colchester, St Georges in Bristol, The Glee Club in Birmingham, The Queen's Hall in Edinburgh, and The Old Fire Station in Carlisle. Lau tickets are also available for shows in other towns, so check to see if they'll be playing somewhere near you soon.
Lau has won an embarrassing number of awards, including the award for Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards on no fewer than five occasions. It's a record that is unlikely to ever be surpassed -- in fact, it's been suggested the award be retired in their honour. In 2013, the last time Lau won, their fellow winners in other categories included Billy Bragg, Nic Jones, and Kathryn Roberts.
Two-thirds Scottish, one-third English, Lau are heavily influenced by the traditional folk music of the Orkney islands. Their name even comes from the word in the Orcadian language for "light." The two Scottish members -- Alex from Oban and Kris from Orkney itself -- were well-known member of the Scottish folk scene when they met up with Martin, the band's "token Englishman," who had previously been gigging around East Anglia. When not gigging as Lau, the band is in massive demand as session musicians by artists looking to add a Celtic feel to their music.
The band got together in 2005 and established themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the live scene. The major breakthrough came two years later, when they released their debut record, Lightweights And Gentlemen. It was a major success on the folk scene and was played in heavy rotation on BBC Radio 2, which lead to them winning the first Best Group award at the next Folk Music Awards. They would win the award again the next two years, and in 2011 and 2013 as well.
Lightweights and Gentlemen is Lau's definitive record, featuring original compositions such as "Unquiet Grave" alongside traditional pieces like "Butcher Boy," plus a selection of jigs and reels. It was followed up shortly afterwards by a live album that was recorded in Edinburgh's The Bongo Club, giving wider audiences a chance to sample their extraordinary energy. Their most recent release is Arc Light, a more mature album that shows off the band's remarkable songwriting skills (and helped carry them to that Best Band award a few more times).
Trad music existed a long time before rock music, or even records, and has always been about making a room full of people get up and dance. Lau are true to this spirit in their live shows, with their intelligent arrangements as an overlaying on the pounding, insistent rhythms of the Scottish islands. Lau gigs might not be formally arranged ceilidhs, but you'll have a hard time stopping yourself from launching into an old-fashioned jig. Polish your brogues, iron your kilt, and get ready to party like it's 1599!
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