Now I quite like Mumford & Sons, honest I do, but every time I get the chance to hear Glasgow’s offerings on the folk front I realise that we really do it better.
With more balls than the Mumfords could dream of, Kith & Kin’s soulful vocals, edgy honest lyrics and screaming guitar solos (yes, shock horror, he’s playing electric) make this writer very grateful he made the effort to climb the stairs 40 minutes early.
So to the main event – Laki Mera are described as trip hop, dance, soul… So if you’d never heard them before you’d be forgiven for not knowing what to expect.
The reaction of the substantial crowd who’ve made the effort to come out to King Tut’s on a cold Monday night in November can be summed up in one word – captivated, from start to finish (OK, so technically that’s five words but you get the idea).
From the buzz of expectation created by the drone of their intro music, to the last chord and cymbal splash of ‘Reverberation 50’ minutes later, all eyes and ears are to the band.
The stage is a maze of cables, laptops and various electronica which go to create their unique sound.
Laura Donnelly’s haunting vocals meander beautifully over the driving groove created by Keir Long (keyboards), Tim Harbinson (drums) and Andrea Gobbi (bass & everything else).
Donnelly is lost in the music and takes the whole crowd with her as we too want to lose ourselves in Laki Mera world.
With the kind of light show not seen too often at the “UK’s best small venue”, it’s not difficult.
There is definitely something of Bjork in her performance, her hands constantly raised like she is making a heartfelt plea to the great Gods of electronic music.
And who am I to say they’re not listening as much as everyone else.
‘No Motion’ is poignant, ‘Pollok Park’ is a testosterone-filled response of the three guys to Donnelly’s beautiful solo ‘Solstice’.
‘She’s a Day Later’ combines all four as it starts slow and evocative and builds into a huge electro-funk event.
Truthful lyrics, evocative vocals, driving rhythms and a light show to dazzle, Laki Mera live is a full-on sensory experience and their growing reputation is well deserved.
As the band leave the stage and the lights go up we return to our own planets, our souls recharged by our visit to the universe of Laki Mera.
And if you get the chance you should definitely visit it sometime.
Words/Photos: Kenny McColl