Friday, 12 August 2022

Lau frontman’s a leading light of folk

ONE of the leading lights of the British folk music revival is playing at Nettlebed

ONE of the leading lights of the British folk music revival is playing at Nettlebed Village Club on Monday night, writes Matthew Wilson.

Hailed as “a serious talent” by Mojo magazine, Kris Drever is perhaps best known as the singer and guitarist with the award-winning folk trio Lau, who have released four studio albums since forming in 2007.

Along the way, Kris has also found time to record three solo albums — the latest of which, If Wishes Were Horses, came out in March this year.

The summer months saw him rack up appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival alongside Scottish fiddle player John McCusker and Blur guitarist Graham Coxon respectively.

This was followed by a spot on BBC One’s The One Show, playing guitar for Leann Rimes.

For his show at Nettlebed, Kris will be joined by the renowned guitarist Ian Carr, with whom he previously played in the Kate Rusby Band.

“I did a fully solo tour earlier in the year,” says Kris. “Then I did a short one with Ian, who’s a longstanding musical friend and collaborator and who also plays some guitar on the new record, so it was good to be able to get out and do something with him.

“So this is the other half of the tour, if you like. And then I’m going out entirely solo again in March. Before which I’m doing a tour of Ireland in November.”

A native of Orkney who now lives in Shetland, Kris certainly gets about. He says his touring lifestyle is “entirely peripatetic”, adding: “I’ve been to Japan and Brazil and Chile and Australia and New Zealand. America, Canada, all over Europe.”

Does he share the view that some people have of folk as a form of world music? “It’s part of that roots family, yeah. It’s a strange thing — I guess someting to do with our being anglophone countries — but we tend not to include our own folk music in world,” he laughs. “Everybody else’s music is world music. We frequently do that thing where we set ourselves apart from the rest of the world. And often it’s part of the same thing.”

Kris was delighted to hear that Ghosts, one of his songs with Lau, has been recorded by Nettlebed Folk Song Club regulars Jackie Oates and Megan Henwood for their just-released Wings EP.

“Oh, that’s great,” he said. “Every songwriter’s ideal situation is to have other people playing their songs. Fantastic.”

Monday’s concert starts at 8pm. Tickets are £13.50 in advance (or £14.50 on the door) and can be booked by calling 01628 636620 or by visiting the club’s website at

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