Lau and The Ainslie/Henderson Trio: Reinventing the Reel
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Thu 27 Mar; Tolbooth, Stirling, Fri 28 Mar; CCA, Glasgow, Thu 3 Apr
‘The band started about two-and-a-half years ago,’ says master fiddler Aidan O’Rourke. ‘Martin (Green), Kris (Drever) and I were hanging around together and we discovered this new noise! Fiddle and accordion, with guitar can just be, well, folky – but when Martin boosted that bottom end!’
Melodic they are, but it’s that organised dissonance within a big dynamic range that’s the basis of Lau’s sound. ‘We’ve developed that to a larger scale. It is a dynamic show.’
The threesome are just back from London where they filmed for Channel 4 and appeared on Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 show. They recently also won Best Band in Radio 2’s Folk Music Awards, where Kris last year picked up prizes. Has the media exposure worked?
‘Well, yes!’ O’Rourke laughs. ‘We’ve got 35 dates between now and 4 May. Then we’re pretty flat out to the end of the year. We’re doing the Canadian festivals in July. And going back to Canada and the States later. But yes, it’s much easier now to get CDs into the bigger shops, and record deals. Agencies open up more.
‘But remember,’ he continues, ‘we don’t want to be working all the time. We’ve all got ongoing commitments, and differing lifestyles. I’ve got Blazin’ Fiddles. Martin was touring with Joan Baez and now has a wee child. Kris goes off with Kate Rusby’s band. So we have to be very organised.’
Support on the tour is from three of the most accomplished and adventurous young bloods on the scene, the bagpipes-driven trio of Ross Ainslie, Jarlath Henderson and Ali Hutton.
‘They’re in a similar space musically,’ says O’Rourke. ‘You know, beats missing, odd time signatures, bits of obscurity and strange tunes. We’ll be all together at the end. But it’ll be more of a finale, structured and arranged. We’ve spent time making it into a bigger band. It won’t be that usual all-back-on-stage rammy.’