Revered British folk trio LAU curated a residency at Colston Hall this weekend, where they presented some of the musical acts that inspire them. From world music to the electronic, they all added to the already stellar track record that the venue has for showcasing innovative, thought-provoking events. There was even a build-your-own synth workshop.
Friday night saw Bristol’s own Kayla Painter perform on The Lantern stage. Her hypnotic, dreamy electronic stylings led some listeners to take residency on the floor, sitting or lying down to fully enjoy the experience. Those with their eyes open, however, would have been perhaps even more mesmerised by the accompanying 3D visuals. At one point, an endless corridor stood behind her, with additional netting around the stage acting like a filter. Besides being seriously impressive, it puts Painter at the center of her own creation, undoubtedly adding to the overall experience for herself and viewers.
Luke Abbott followed Painter, with a more upbeat electronic set. Ranging from the methodically house to the experimental, the sometimes illogical sequences of sound and patterns gave his compositions a flare of wonderment. The songs, however, were abrasively cut from one to the other, with Abbott failing to say even one world to the crowd.
The midnight slot saw 90’s electronic DJ duo Plaid take stage, and to even innocent ears it was easy to see why they were so influential on future electronic/house outfits. Their continual stream of compositions seemed almost otherworldly, with a variety of instrumental and electronic samples working well to establish a realistic atmosphere. At times their music was extremely deep, quintessentially house, and at other times extremely experimental. A guitarist, off to one side, accompanied the duo for portions of songs, although his guitar could have done with a cranking. Nonetheless, the hour and a half flew by, their anthemic IDM bringing to mind several other artists – from the likes of Boards of Canada, to Blood Hound Gang.