BEST BAND, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013


Lau are modern folk music's most innovative band. Brilliant musicians, thrilling performers and free-thinking visionaries.

Their new album 'Race The Loser' (out on Reveal Records October 1st) was recorded with American producer Tucker Martine (Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, R.E.M., Laura Veirs) in Scotland throughout the Spring of 2012.

‘Race The Loser’ pushes Lau’s complex, yet accessible sound, even further to the outer reaches of folk music whilst retaining all the strengths of the original acoustic trio (Kris Drever Vocals/Guitar, Martin Green Accordion, Aidan O’Rourke Fiddle).

In 2007 their debut album 'Lightweights and Gentlemen' mixed original tunes with inspired arrangements of traditional material and rocketed Lau to the fore of the burgeoning new folk scene, soon followed by a staggering onslaught of awards that includes an unprecedented three consecutive wins as Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Having dramatically cemented their reputation as a blistering stage act, Lau followed their debut with the much loved 'Lau Live' album just a year later and in 2009 came the equally acclaimed 'Arc Light ' with a grander setting that produced a heavily played single 'Winter Moon' and an invitation from Mojo Magazine to cover The Beatles 'Dear Prudence' for their 'White Album' celebrations.

Cue more awards, triumphant international touring, a proud catalogue of stomping festival appearances, splinter bands, solo recordings and a string of intriguing recent collaborations with rock legend Jack Bruce (Cream) Karine Polwart, Adem and a vast new orchestral work 'Strange Attractors' with composer Brian Irvine and The Northern Sinfonia.

Race The Loserfeatures Lau’s best, most universal and significant music yet, the sound of three exceptionally talented friends embracing with open arms yet another new chapter of what has already been an extraordinary musical journey.


Praise for Lau:

The Arts Desk – ‘One of the most exciting live acts in any genre, Lau are to be cherished’

The Guardian - ‘Lau are so special’

BBC‘Lau has injected a freshness, vitality, vigour into the UK folk scene’

MUSICOMH‘a symbol of musical innovation – a blaze of white hot sparks’

The Scotsman – ‘Astonishing walls of sound, truly magnificent’

NME ’Unconventional and intricate, Lau are far from traditional’

HolyMoly - ‘Amazing, our most favourite band in the world’

Image Credit: 
David Ange

Elysian Quartet

Elysian Quartet
String Quartet
The Elysian Quartet is a British string quartet specialising in contemporary, experimental and improvised music, who formed while studying at London’s Trinity College of Music. In 2011 they celebrated ten years together with a one day mini-festival at The Yard, Hackney which featured performances and collaborations with many of the musicians the quartet have worked with over the years, including Adem, Simon Fisher Turner, and Joby Burgess (Ensemble Bash).
  • Total duration: 18'08
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Elysian String Quartet


Although the two groups come from very different musical worlds, Lau and the Elysian Quartet have common ground in their love for exploration and experimentation.  This piece is a celebration of Glasgow; the title refers to the verse attached to Glasgow’s coat of arms and relates to the deeds of St Mungo.

‘We are delighted to get the chance to make this music. We felt we have found kindred spirits in the Elysian Quartet, another band with a lust to create new sounds. As composers, this is one of the most exciting musical opportunities we could hope for, we can't wait to get writing.’ Lau

‘Lau are flying a flag for modern Scottish music at present, and we wanted to team them up with a modern classical group on a similar footing. The Elysian Quartet were a perfect fit for this, open-minded and well versed in collaboration. We feel sure this meeting will result in a genuinely unique piece of new music.’ Celtic Connections Festival


For more information about all 20 pieces of the New Music Biennial, visit our page:




Celtic Connections Festival

The Bell that Never Rang was commissioned by Celtic Connections Festival.


'A case of two musical worlds colliding and meshing was folk trio Lau's The Bell That Never Rang created with the Elysian String Quartet [...] gritty, complex textures [...] there was something peculiarly moving about the classically-trained string players grinding against O'Rourke's viscerally intuitive folk fiddling, a momentary melding otherness [...]. Organised jamming [...], but with a brain and a heart.' BBC Music Magazine


Produced with the support of partners and funders:

New Music Biennial Funders


The performance of The Bell That Never Rang was recorded live by the BBC at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 1 August 2014 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 9 August 2014.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL201411
Release Date:
5 September 2014