Three-times winners at the BBC2 Folk Awards, Lau are something of a folk supergroup.
Featuring Kris Drever on vocals and guitar, Martin Green on accordion, and Aidan O’Rourke on fiddle, the trio have won plaudits for their captivating live shows and albums.
After recent collaborations with ‘folktronica’ pioneer Adem and composer Brian Irvine, it’s little surprise that the energetic Celtic melodies of their new album Race The Loser boast some interesting new embellishments.
We quizzed O’Rourke about his band, the new album and tour.
Can you fill us in a little on the story of Lau – how did the three of you get together?
We had all played together in various other formats, and at one point were playing as three separate duos – one trio just made more sense!
And how quickly did you realise that the three of you had something special as a ‘unit’?
For me it wasn’t until we went out and did some gigs. The first gigs went down very well, which is encouraging to any band, and it hits a different level when you play the stuff live.
Do you think folk music is going through a purple patch at the moment?
We don’t spend much time analysing the trends, but more people listening to folk music is good news we think.
You are all in-demand musicians, do you have to be organised to make time for Lau?
Yes! Google calander is the only way.
Did you all come from backgrounds with a strong tradition of folk music?
We all grew up with folk music around us. Kris’s dad is a well known folk musician, but Martin and Aidan’s families play music too, so even though we grew up in very different areas geographically, there were some common elements in our musical upbrinings.
The producer on your new album was the American Tucker Martine, but it was recorded in Scotland. How did the arrangement work?
We took Tucker to our favourite studio, Castlesound, in Scotland, where we have made all the Lau records and where we feel very at home. We had a week there and then Tucker took the stuff back to his studio, Flora, in Portland, Oregon, and mixed it. We did the mixing sessions over the internet, at Tuckers breakfast and our teatime for a week. It worked out very well.
There are some subtle ‘folktronica’ touches on there. Are you keen to be seen as contemporary?
We’re not trying to fill the dancefloors of Europe, we just like playing with toys that make noises we like. I think that is true of most musicians in most genres right now.
There’s a lot of complexity to your music – how much rehearsing is involved before you take songs out on the road?
We do a pretty full-on couple of weeks in our rehearsal room before a tour like this. Lau love to rehearse, not all bands do, but this one does, which is great for some of the tricky bits.
What kind of atmosphere do you expect to be generating at your shows?
Grown-up northern squash with flashes of noisy lightning.
Nov 7, Brudenell Social Club, 7pm, £14, www.lunatickets.co.uk