Folk meld allows Lau to make their name

On stage: Lau can be slim and portable or all geared up
On stage: Lau can be slim and portable or all geared up
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TYPE ‘Lau’ into Google and you get the Lebanese American University, a Vietnamese hot pot and an acronym of an obscure letter from the Greek alphabet.

And then, among the Vietnamese hot pot, the strange letters and Lebanese universities, there is Lau the band.

Formed in Scotland, the trio play contemporary folk, underpinned by a nod to traditional folk.

Singer and guitarist Kris Drever explains what makes them tick: “We all have a connection with traditional music and this is an extension of the music we love, only we want to do something new with it and use our skills in this way.”

The band are from Orkney, where social folk sessions are part of everyday life.

“We were born and raised with musicians,” says Drever.

“You go into a pub and people are all sitting round playing.

“It’s sort of a way of communicating only through the medium of music.

“One person starts off a song and then everyone else will figure it out and it will build into a band.”

It was this culture Drever was thrown into as a young boy.

“I was playing the fiddle as a boy and I started playing guitar at 13.”

In Lau he’s honed his folk skills to create music that’s modern with a folk edge.

“We collaborate in Lau – we used to each bring our ideas along and then we’d add to that but now we just sit around and start from scratch.”

And they don’t exactly hang about when it comes to playing live, either.

There’s You Tube footage of the band playing an impromptu gig in a bus stop, to an audience of amused pensioners.

“In some respects we are a portable band but in others – when we play theatres – we need a van for all our gear.”

The band will play somewhere between the two when they bring their repertoire to The Greystones, Greystones Road, next Thursday evening.