Lau: Arc Light (4 stars)

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Lau: Arc Light

Lau have established themselves as the hottest band out there on the Scottish folk scene over the last eighteen months on the basis of their gripping live performances, and if their recordings haven’t yet quite matched the on-stage excitement, Arc Light is their strongest studio effort so far. Fiddler Aidan O’Rourke (who has just left Blazin’ Fiddles to concentrate more fully on this trio), accordionist Martin Green and guitarist Kris Drever have developed a trademark sound that combines often slightly off-kilter adaptations of traditional folk forms with a more jazz-inspired improvisational quality. The resulting experiments often achieve almost hypnotic levels of intensity. Those qualities are all evident here in the self-composed instrumental sets, complemented by Drever’s songs, including Pete Seeger’s ‘Banks of Marble’ and a bonus track featuring their take on The Beatles’ ‘Dear Prudence’ on the initial pressing of the CD.

(Navigator Records)

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