Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award is an award for musicians and bands who put the charge into the tradition. At Hands Up for Trad we like to celebrate innovation so we have brought forward this award to celebrate those musicians who take chances and in doing so make Scottish trad music an exciting place to be. Lau (Martin Green, Aidan O’Rourke, kris Drever) have pushed the boundaries of folk music since the release of their ground breaking debut album Lightweights and Gentleman in 2007. They have continued to push forward with 4 albums and 2 EPs and are currently working on their 5th album. They have also curated 2 festivals – Lauland and are presenting their third Lauland in Edinburgh (November 2014). Read more about this amazing band at http://www.lau-music.co.uk
We asked Martin Green of the band the following questions.
Musician / band name
When did you first start playing music?
We have all been playing music since we were children, we all grew up with some form of traditional music in the house. As a band we have been playing together since 2005, probably, somewhere round there.
Did you make a conscious decision to be innovative with your music?
I think we were all drawn to music that we found exciting to us, that wasn’t necessarily because it was innovative, I don’t think you pay attention to that kind of intellectual level when you first start. If one of the things that excites you is hearing something you haven;t heard before, then when you start making your own music, you look for new things yourself. so yes, and also no.
Watch the band’s acceptance video.
What are your main influences?
As a band when we first started we were very excited by bands like Swap, Vasen, anything that involved Ian Carr, Simon Thoumire, The Easy Club. Prior to that we all had shared influences in bands like Cappercaillie, Dick Gaughan, The Bothy Band, Martyn Bennett, Donal Lunny. As the band progressed we became more and more interested in sound, and tone Tim Matthew (Lau’s engineer & fiddle player in Mystery Juice) has been a big influence here.
What music excites you that we should be listening to?
Things that we have enjoyed in the van recently, Anais Mitchell, Rayna Gellert’s new album is a beauty, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra with amazing arrangements by Carla Bley, Fred Frith blew our collective mind recently as did The Voice Squad. It’s not new, but a recent re-visit of Moscow Art Trio’s Mountain Tale album proves it still remarkable 15 or so years on, in terms of innovation in tradition, in terms of right now in Scotland, Furrow Collective record is beautiful, and Adam Holmes is a man to watch.
What are your plans for the future?
Lau will start recording a new album later this year which will feature Elysian Quartet from London, a contemporary classical string quartet that we have done a bit of work with recently. We are hosting our Lau-Land festival in Scotland for the first time! yeah! 27-29th November in Edinburgh at The Queen’s Hall and Summerhall, gigs workshops and what will be an amazing festival club.
How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award?
By having a specially curated festival, 27-29th November in Edinburgh.
Read more about Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award
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