The Lorelei, Stonehaven Town Hall, Sat 30th March.
It was an eager and expectant crowd that graced the townhall last Saturday. There was a collection of Fat Hippy Records bands present but everyone was there to see The Lorelei.
The Lorelei have been around for a long time now. Still together, still writing and recording and still finding the level of success they deserve elusive. I have no idea why. I have seen them a few times now since they launched themselves on the Scottish music scene and they are a viable, energetic act with good catchy tunes that never ever fail to get toes tapping and folk moving around a dance floor.
The last time The Lorelei played here it was supporting Skerryvore. They won a lot of new fans in this neck of the woods and this is apparent by the attendance this evening.
The atmosphere is very positive and the crowd applaud the band as they take to the stage.
Immediately you get a sense of fun from the band. It is obvious they are going to enjoy playing from grins and body language between band members and crowd. We are clearly all in this together, the crowd as much of the show as the band.
They kick off with “Hack Yourself”, a track that defines what The Lorelei are all about. Catchy tune, meaningful lyrics, acoustic led sections of Diane and Flossie influenced by Scottish traditional music and then the solid combo of brilliantly frantic drums from Keith, driving bass from Jonny and electric guitar from the very hairy Beefy, to drive the whole song along. We are off at a hell of a pace and we already know it’s going to be a good set from the band.
There is no let up in the pace of this band. It is like some organised chaos that infects us to move with them. The Lorelei themselves are grinning from ear to ear at each other. A thing that always stays with me is the obvious enjoyment that the band gets from playing together and making their own unique noise. I don’t suppose you can keep doing what they have done for 20 odd years if they didn’t enjoy it? Again, their enthusiasm and sheer commitment to what they do is infectious and just adds to the positive vibe of the whole show experience.
John is a compelling front man, is animated and engaging. I just wish the sound had been a little clearer so I could hear what he was saying between tunes a little better. I did however hear him ask if there were any Liars in the house as he dedicated the next tune to them. Amazingly when their new tune “Bastard Child” was announced there was a similar response to Johns question. Brilliant!
We are treated to 55mins of breakneck Celtic rock. Hard for me to describe. The Lorelei play fast but with a massive sense of melody and tunes from Flossie and Diane on viola and mandolin which cuts through loud and clear. I defy anyone not to come away from a Lorelei gig whistling or humming a section of one of their tunes.
The Lorelei are a hugely entertaining band. To watch, to listen to, dance to and just to chat to as I did after the show. Not before the two well deserved encores before they were allowed to finish playing.
Their enthusiasm is just shining out of them, they tell me of plans for new recordings, a trip to London’s prestigious Half Moon in July, plans for Europe when the time is right, a new website and a new development of an agent interested in working with them.
Keith Grant, one of the best and busiest drummers I’ve ever witnessed had this to say:
“This is a very exciting time for us at the moment, positive things seem to be happening for us and Fat Hippy Records, it’s a great position for us all to be in considering how long we have been trying”.
Not a negative word from any of them and definitely a band of folk who are looking forward instead of backwards.
I for one, really do hope this band are noticed and embraced by the wider Scottish public. We should be proud of them. The Lorelei are something special, the real deal. A collection of lifelong friends who love what they can do together musically. They will never be in fashion or out of fashion and I don’t think they’d want it any other way.
Go and see them, book them for gigs, buy their music. I can’t recommend them highly enough. What you waiting for?