Music Review, Carol Laula, 24 July, The Jam House, Edinburgh

26 Jul

Scotland has topped a recent poll for producing some of the most successful artists of recent times. Paisley-born singer Carol Laula, performing on Thursday at Edinburgh’s Jam House Carol, is a talent that adds to the singer-song writing stock emanating from the West of Scotland.

Laula is frequently compared to Joan Armatrading and Joni Mitchell, her own website freely makes this comparison. However, although there are similarities in composition style, there are many other influences in her music.

There’s a distinct country music feel to many of her songs as well as a hint of Scottish Traditional or Folk music. “What’s Wrong with Dreaming”, “Whispering Hurricane” and “In a Dream”, are all song titles that are slightly whimsical, seemingly relating to the softer, airy and pensive side of life.

Laula compliments her songs with conversation and introduces many songs with a story about their inception. The tale describing the beginnings of “Crazy Waters”, was a comical trip into the world of her dreams, while before the song “Emilia”, we are given insight into who Emelia is.

Laula has a relaxed stage presence, appearing to be completely at ease in her surroundings, and clearly prefers an audience willing to be guided and acquiesce into participation.

The band, composed of Mario Rea on Bass guitar, Stuart Kidd on percussion and David Rogers on guitar and whistle, are an excellent compliment to the singer’s guitar and vocals.  The arrangements of the songs have been well developed, allowing the listener to be pulled into the songs at appropriate times.

Laula closed her set with “Think You Better”, which, by watching her performance, relates to an emotional event. Performing music is, at least in part, acting, but Carol LAula seemed absorbed in this song. It was an emotive end to the set which really left listeners asking for more.

Review by Gillian Jones

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