All by myself

Kris Drever
Kris Drever

When you are in a band with one of the biggest names in Scottish music, it would be easy to continue down that path.

Not if you’re Kris Drever.

In 2006, he made noise in folk circles with the release of his first album, Black Water.

But the artist, who is probably best known for his 2008 collaboration with Idlewild front man Roddy Womble, is going it alone again.

After spending time collaborating with a number of famous names in folk such as John McCusker, Bruce MacGregor and Eddie Reader, the Orkney born guitarist formed Lau.

The trio then toured and released albums to much critical acclaim, including best group three years running at the BBC Folk Awards.

But it wasn’t till collaborating with Womble that Drever really began to hit the big time.

Receiving top-billing on the album with Womble and McCusker, that also featured Radiohead drummer Phil Selway and Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, was a big moment for the promising artist.

Now, Drever has changed paths again and has returned to a solo career.

He said: “I had been working as a guitarist for eight years or so and just did the odd solo spot. Various people said I should do solo work but I wasn’t sure. John McCusker, who produced the album, harangued me about it.

“Then I was playing with Kate Rusby, filling in for Ian Carr, and she got me to do a song in the set. Tom Rose at Reveal Records saw me and asked if I wanted to do a record. It all went from there.

“The response has been very good. I haven’t done much solo touring but it’s been great, and I have had lots of compliments”.

He is now touring on his own again, following the release of his long awaited follow up to Black Water.

Mark The Hard Earth is a selection of songs that Kris has loved and played over recent years alongside new songs written by friends and collaborators including cult Scottish songwriter Sandy Wright (Wild Hurricane, Shining Star), his brother Duncan Drever (The Crown Of London).

Kris made his own (lyrical) debut on Lau’s acclaimed Arc Light with the song Wintermoon and for this album, his self penned song is the title track.

As good as they sound on the CD, the songs are meant to be heard live, and fortunately, bang in the middle of another Lau tour, there is an opportunity to hear Kris on his own.

He plays at the Oran Mor on Wednesday night as part of the westend festival (with guest Eamon Coyne).

Tickets are £12 from www.ticketweb.co.uk. Show starts at 7pm.