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Lau + Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld

Venue: The Barbican
Town: London
Date: 31/5/16

Whilst at college the craze on the Indie Rock scene were Arcade Fire, (and still are I believe). Sarah Neufeld being a member of Arcade Fire and Colin Stetson having played with Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, TV on the Radio to name but a few, I thought I roughly knew what I was going to be listening to. I was greatly mistaken. Instead of the Indie rock sound I was expecting, Neufeld and Stetson delivered a set influenced by minimalism, avant grade jazz and the etherial that was both hypnotic and raucous leaving the audience spell bound. The use of effects and looping pedals gave the duo a massive sound that allowed them to take the music to an awesome high as well as an intimate low.

The last time I saw Lau live was only last year in the Union Chapel and its amazing to see the amount of change they have made in such a short space of time. The first change that caught the eye was Martin Green's new creation which has affectionately been named, "Morag". Morag appears to be some sort of dulcimer related instrument with electric accessories that trigger an array of etherial sounds. The trio started their set off huddled around this new beast, each playing a different part and looping it before heading to their respective instruments. Both Kris Drever and Aidan O'Rourke stood for the duration of this gig which is another change in the routine as the trio are normally sat, creating a close atmosphere between the three and the audience however being stood made for an even stronger connection with the audience. This reviled itself to be and very atmospheric start to the song, "Tiger Hill", from the band's latest release, The Bell That Never Rang. The vast majority of the material were songs and were from this album, however the one that bucked the trend and took me off guard was the Aidan O'Rourke tune, Sea. It was sensational to hear this music played live and to hear how it has been adapted to work in a live setting through the use of electronics, synthesisers and effects pedals.

This was a night utterly enjoyed by all!

Matthew Tighe

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