Scots trio Lau attracted a lot of attention with their studio debut, and this live follow-up shows they can certainly deliver the goods. It does, though, highlight their strengths as well as their weaknesses. They're at their best instrumentally, with fiddle and accordion in particular absolutely superb, ducking and diving together or around each other. Where they don't score quite as high -- although they're still very good -- is on the vocals.
Kris Drever is an adequate, but not great, singer, who doesn't always put across the emotional content of his material -- that said, he does a fabulous job on "Unquiet Grave." But instrumentally, Lau have few peers, they're willing to take chances and veer into moments of sublime dissonance before diving headlong back into a tune.
The centerpiece is "The Lang Set," a selection of tunes that showcases their abilities and interaction in an almost perfect manner. The music is original, but very influenced by the Scots tradition, and they round the night out perfectly with the slow, moving "Gallowhill," an air that carries breathlessly into the night. Once they get the vocals sorted out properly, Lau will be worldbeaters.
|Stewarts: Auld Stewart/Young Stewart/Last Week's Efforts||Lau||8:01|
|Banks of Marble / Les Rice||Lau||4:44|
|Frank and Flo's/An Tobar||Lau||5:00|
|Butcher Boy / Traditional||Lau||4:22|
|Sea Sea/The Lemon Slice||Lau||6:19|
|The Long Set: A Dog and the Rabbit/A Dog Called Bran/Souter Creek/Alyth's/M||Lau||14:42|
|Unquiet Grave / Traditional||Lau||5:14|
|Hinba Hinba/Funny Weather||Lau||5:50|