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When one discusses the merits of the “supergroup”, it is usually followed by the joshing of, not only, those that are part of it and those that actually choose to listen to them… well you know they do tend to be a bit shite. So trust the folk genre; commonly described as ‘traditional music’ to buck the tradition trend of the supergroup*.

With Celtic Connections in full swing and quite the selection of music to choose from it is a testament to the quality of their output that Lau, the abovementioned supergroup, are playing to a sold out crowd in Glasgow’s City Halls**. Comprised of fiddler; Aiden O’Rourke, accordionist/pianist; Martin Green, and guitarist/vocalist; Kris Drever***. With multiple awards under their belt and new album ‘Race the Loser’, released last year, expectations are high.

Beforehand though jaunty support was provided by Annabelle Chvostek, formally of the Wailin’ Jennys. Her uplifting traditional folky country protest music went down a treat and with audience participation high**** in the hall she certainly went down well with those that arrived early enough.

So to the main event which took a beginning, middle and end structure; with the middle being the highly publicised commission piece by Celtic Connections and the PRSF New Music Biennia. With Drever in the middle, Rourke to the right and the joyful Green to the right proceedings hit full swing right from the get go. Throwing in a cache of new tracks the highlight being the wistful and epic ‘Far from Portland’ it would have been more than a fulfilling show if that was all that we were to be treated to.

As we hit the middle of the set Lau are joined by The Elysian Quartet to perform ‘The Bell That Never Rang’ the piece commissioned for this very evening and a rare treat for everyone here to witness. Bringing forward all the strengths of each musician forward this was a wonderfully inventive bit of music that was not the norm for the respective genres of both sets of musicians.

Although this was a fine treat you could tell that that the audience were gagging to get back to some solo Lau action and they were not disappointed as there was a scattershot of tracks from the highly regarding first two albums ‘Arc Light’ and ‘Lightweights & Gentleman’ which led to wild applause and one audience member to shout out “You guys are awesome” which was swiftly replied to by Martin Green “Thanks Dad!”*****.

A wonderful show from start to finish with the limelight and adulation of the audience not resting solely on one member of the group but on Lau as a whole******! Thanks was given, applause was given and everyone in attendance including those performing left happy. Despite all that was going on this evening as part of Celtic Connections for those savvy enough to come here very much made the right choice.



*I realise I may be reaching a bit with this supergroup angle, but to the genre… well… they kinda are.

**Where they don’t allow you to take in a pint into the hall… sacrilegious.

***Check out all of their solo albums, you’re welcome.

****By that I mean clapping in time and shit…

*****I don’t think it was his Dad to be fair.

******But seriously check out all their solo material!