Sunday, October 15, 2006

As The Storm Builds

Laura Groves - Coast

This is a bit special. I’d dearly love to be able to leave it at that. The same friend who introduced me to the music of Laura Groves attempted to write something about her before and tied himself in knots about the whole process of trying to convey genuine enthusiasm without resorting to bad clichés and tired metaphors. Now I find myself about to undertake the same task, and I can feel the exact same thing is happening to me. What is it about this 18-year-old from Shipley in West Yorkshire that has the power to render coherent men, who can usually only be silenced by forcible means, dithering wordless freaks? Of course, I’ve just used a whole load of words to demonstrate the fact that I don’t know what to say. Ain’t life grand? Anyway, Laura Groves has an astounding voice. It’ll scarper off down the road with your breath before you know what’s happening. She has caused me to shed a tear on a couple of occasions and I’ve never met her before. ‘Coast’ is a tale of yearning to head to the English seaside to avoid troubles at home. So far, so heard it all before. But Laura’s purpose on arrival is not to sit on a deckchair with an ice cream, ride a donkey or pump fruit machines full of sterling. Nope - she wants to watch lightning strike the masts of boats during a storm. I love that. Hers is a singular talent – a unique vision and voice, which should serve her well when she gets the exposure she so richly deserves. Despite all the inevitable lazy comparisons that will be flung her way, and the probability of her being lumped into this new wave of British folk movement that is the current vogue, I sincerely hope that she manages to stay true to the path she is embarking on now. If I am to play along with regional stereotypes, I’m sure she doesn’t suffer fools, so idiotic A&R men thinking she’s the new Sandi Thom or whatnot – back off, she ain’t. She’s Laura Groves and we want her to stay that way.

Laura Groves at My Space
Video of a live performance and further info on Laura at Cross the Pond