NEW ALBUM WINS 2015 QLD MUSIC AWARD for its track

‘closing time’

 

LAIQUE: THE LAST BEND

Review by David Megarrity – Life in the Longtail

There is no other band in Australia who do what Laique do. Just released, their second album The Last Bend is wicked. This band’s in its own category. Some have said it’s ‘vintage jazz’, and to be sure the original songs they pump out are played with virtuosic skill on banjos, violin, double bass,  flamenco guitar and drums.

photo1But this isn’t just a great band playing great songs, it’s a world of its own, populated by good drinks, bad men,  speakeasies, rising euphoria and fallen women.

The music swings, and the stories sting. Laique can switch from slamming gypsy jazz to a blinding torch song that’ll burn your fingers. No live performance I’ve seen them do has ever been the same.

They’ve been compared to Squirrel Nut Zippers, Paloma Faith and Paris Combo: the music’s classy, sophisticated, fun and sexy. This bands’ got a kinship with a bygone era, but the music’s refreshingly contemporary.

Laique’s crowded with talent, and have their own profile as individual musicians Gerard Mapstone is a star of flamenco guitar. Sam, Will and Michael (bass, drums, violin) have their own projects and a shared history with the huge gypsy orchestra Doch. Kylie Southwell’s the focal point, leading the band with her sweet and searing vocals and collection of ukuleles, tenor guitar and banjo.Laique

There’s swampy voodoo, jazz of Parisian style and sophistication, world-music workouts, new Orleans funeral marches, and the pompe and ceremony of manic Manouche. It’ll send shivers down your spine and make you want to Charleston even though you know you haven’t the faintest idea how. It’s a vintage vision that’s very now. It’s hot – jazz wise and literally – there’s  a lot of sex, passion and drinking going on here. You want to be part of it, and the music makes the heartbreak sound very appealing.

laique_bio_imageThere’s tender,  clear and rapid-fire lead vocals supported by warm harmonies. There’s unexpected twists and corners in the arrangements, steered by musical mastery. It’s both a wham-bam and a slow reveal, as the layers of Tom Green’s production come to light on repeated listens of their new album The Last Bend

If you’ve detected bias, you’ve detected correctly. I know them fairly well. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved as a writer with the band since they performed a song called What I Got Here that I wrote with my collaborator Sam Vincent. He presented it to the band without my knowledge,  and it was a great thrill to see them perform it live,  and then include it on their first album. The majority of their tunes still come from Kylie Southwell, who’s the prime mover in the band. Sam and I have kept our writing swimming in the Laique and some more of our songs have made it into their repertoire.

In celebration of the release of their second album The Last Bend,  I offer here some notes on the songs Sam and I wrote for the record. What you’ll here are the rough, modest beginnings of the compositions – our musical underwear –  for the real thing head here.speakeasy

Speakeasy

Laique are a stylish band. They deal with gin, romance, dissolution, and a particular kind of vintage vision, and it’s been fun writing songs that become part of, and indeed are inspired by this world Kylie’s invented. Speakeasy’s about memory, regret, the glory of youth, and the places you hang out when you’re young – viewed through the lens of the roaring 20’s. The best fun is the fun you’re not meant to be having, so I imagine prohibition must have sharpened everybody’s thirst in the US.  Here’s one of the demos Sam and I did for the song.  It’s revealed the character in the song has returned to the place where she used to hang out when she was young, and is regaling patrons with stories of her youth. The implication is that these glories are well in the past, and impossible to re-live. The Divine Comedy’s brilliant story song ‘A Lady of a Certain Age’ was an influence lyrically.

All Dressed Up

This song’s about the journey from home to a dance hall, echoing some of the great songs of the 1930’s that talk about the love that can be found on the dance floor (Irving Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’ being a sublime example). Really I think the lyrics are about how so many years of wallflowering are just unintended preparation for that moment when you meet ‘the one’.

Funeral of Emile Victor Clay, image by Michael P. Smith, 1996; © The Historic New Orleans Collection http://www.neworleansphotoalliance.org/grants/MPS_Fund/

Part of the Way

This song began when I asked Sam about what kind of tune he’d like to compose next. He suggested a New Orleans funeral march. The kind of idea that would never consider if I was writing on my own.

But I researched the musical form, and the rituals associated with it, and wrote a set of lyrics that evoked the folks on the final walk, and what it’s like being left behind.

Sam and I shape the songs both independently and together. I love the moment when we do a run-through  of something that’s completely new. I’ll play guitar, and Sam will shift between guitar, bass or piano depending on what the song needs. We’ve both played drums on demos as well. It’s all done live to minidisk and roughly recorded on a Sony ECM-MS907 mic, which is usually just sitting on a music stand or propped up on a couch. There were lots of demos of this piece,  some of which veered into the lunacy of Tom Waits.

 Old Fashioned

I love Al Bowlly, and Sam and I have played a bit of his stuff. Sam and I wanted to write a ballad in the class of ‘The Very Thought of You’ and so that was the germ of the new song., a sense of its feel and how it might sit in a set. Once I started putting lyrics together, the image of an older couple sitting at home and listening to the wireless emerged and I pursued it further, drawing on,  or rather bouncing off a poem by Philip Larkin called ‘Broadcast’,  though the chap in his poem is at home listening in on his own.

old fashioned cropThe first version of the tune was called ‘Wireless’. It had a very sweet chorus which worked nicely,  but Sam rewrote it and improved it vastly this ‘Wireless’ demo was also the first place that the song’s whistling solo entered the world. As the song took shape musically Sam was very keen to pursue a particular musical structure that echoed the work of the Ink Spots, and those constraints sharpened the lyrics significantly. I’ve written more about fashioning Old Fashioned here.voodoo

Monday Morning Woman

We were talking about what to write next and Sam presented me with a Lounge music CD, noting one particular track which had a kind of jungle or swampy feel, you know, lots of xylophones and sound effects, very evocative kitsch and fun. So that was the starting point, lyrically. I did a bit of research into voodoo (or rather its showbiz iteration) and a particular character called Marie Leveau, as well as lots of the juicy parlance, phrases and recipes related to this kind of practice.

As the lyrics took shape the scenario was around someone, a vengeful lover, heading out into the night to meet with someone who can help them with the kind of magic they need. Apparently the appearance of a woman on a Monday morning can be extremely bad luck. I expect this may have something to do with what the woman’s man has been up to over the weekend…

The above sounds are simply Sam and I sitting in a room playing the tune live. Along the way, I went a bit nuts over this song and made two quite detailed demos of it with lots of percussion and swamp noises, thinking it was finished, but Sam needed time to think about it and compose some more – as it turned out, he was thinking in detail about arrangement ideas and instrumental passages tailored specifically to some of the great players in Laique.cannes

Take Me Down To Cannes

Sam and I were thinking of shifting our writing process slightly – often he’d write music to my lyrics, and we wanted to play with reversing the process.  This is the song where we finally went ‘music first’ – Sam played me this tune, which was perhaps inspired by his time in the Doch Gypsy Orchestra. I listened to our instrumental demo repeatedly on my music player as I walked to work, and on public transport, etc to get acquainted. 

I was initially playing with the idea of making it about a great train journey – its exotic sounding chords and motifs made me think of the orient express or something like that – I was thinking maybe a roll-call of stations and towns like Vladivostok might be fun, but also torture to rhyme.

Then I just started singing along to it and seeing where the music took me, and it took me to Cannes,  specifically the film festival,  which,  while it has its glamorous side,  is plainly and mainly about exploitation of various kinds. So the song’s story is about an adventurous girl with stars in her eyes fulfilling her life’s dream by going to the festival to be ‘discovered’. Which she is.

preview and purchase the The Last Bend here on iTunes or if you think Steve Jobs doesn’t need your cash anymore, on CDbaby. Press the ‘Laique’ button here onfacebook,

Laique is one of Australia's most exciting new ambassadors to the festival circuit, tantalising audiences with their quirky & tempestuously charming tales. Drawing on influences from 1930s paris jazz and the flamenco music of Spain, topped off with a good dose of solid songwriting, this band will delight and tickle you in all the right places.

Presenting Laique's queen of song Kylie Southwell, along with premium music-men Gerard Mapstone on guitar & banjo, Michael Patterson on violin, Samuel Vincent on double bass and Will Eager on drums.

Gentlemen hold on to your Stetsons, ladies clasp your fascinators! For Laique will fill your Martini glass to the brim with their quirky tunes and tempestuous tales of love, lust, murder, revenge and shoes.

Steeped in a sizzle of hot swing,
there's a twist of mischievous charm
beneath the band's sharp trouser legs and
front woman Kylie Southwell's slick heels,
as the hard popping bedlam begins.

This is wine without the glass
and murder without the guilt.
This is song writing without the diarising.
The swinging twenties without prohibition.
The lust without the phone numbers.

This is Laique!
One frock and four suits.

French manouche, street beats and tango
all fall in line behind one stray black cat.

Click track names to listen!

The End of the Day (An Absence of Gin)
Hush
Icarus Falling
Reverie
The Boat Song
What I Got Here
The Murder Ballad of Miss Belle Noir
Gracie of the Underworld
Merchants of Sin


LaiqueSTILL5

To Listen or Buy our brand new album – The Last Bend, Please Visit:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laique2

Featuring the track ‘Closing Time’, winner of the 2015 Qld Music Award for the Jazz Category

Also, hang out with us on our Facebook page

Or check us out live: Laique Showreel – The Old Museum

Laique Banner

REVIEWS

by Tina Walsh

A thirty-something music appreciator with a passion for blues, funk, reggae, jazz and soul. I love uncovering new acts and CDs to buy at live gigs. Follow me on twitter @tinajwalsh

Published February 4th 2013

Pop on a frock, dress dapper and enjoy their swing music

The first time I saw Laique, I was introduced to them by a swing-dancing friend of mine. They were performing at the Wunderbar, part of Brisbane Festival, a couple of years ago. They call themselves “One frock and four suits!” and performed at Black Bear Lodge recently as part of a double-bill with Mzaza.

Laique are Kylie Southwell on vocals and banjo, Samuel Vincent on double bass, Gerard Mapstone on guitar and banjo and Will Eager on drums, and call their music swing / folk / pop. It was a glam Sunday night; the band was dressed old-school, and there was lots of lovely ladies in frocks and dapper-dressed gentlemen. The band performed tracks from their debut album Cravin Just a little Misbehavin includingIcarus Falling, a finalist in the World Music Category of the Queensland Music Awards and The End of the Day, finalist in the Jazz Music Category of the Queensland Music Award. No mean feat for a band to have tracks included in the finals of two different categories.

After playing for a fabulous forty minute set, Laique’s CDs sold like hot cakes at the merchandise stand, and Kylie Southwell joined Mzaza for a song during their set.

To find out more about upcoming performances, like Laique on Facebook here, and check out the website here. They are also on Triple J Unearthed here.

 

Past Shows

Bellingen Jazz Festival

LAIQUE gigs:
Sat 12noon-1pm @ St Andrew’s Uniting Church
Sat 8.30-10pm @ Diggers Tavern
Sun 2-3.15pm Diggers Tavern

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAIQUE @ THE TABLELANDS FOLK FESTIVAL!

Yungaburra, Atherton Tablelands, North Qld

FRIDAY 21st OCT – 11pm Community Hall

SATURDAY 22nd OCT -9:30pm Community Hall

SUNDAY 23rd OCT – 1pm The Pavilion

And then… Gerry and Kylie will be performing a trio with the illustrious Mr Jan Van Dijk on fiddle for the JUTE theatre ‘Studio Shorts’ program. Every night, Tues 25th-29th of Oct.

27 May, 2011
Valley Jazz Festival

9 April, 2011
Brisbane Jazz Club
Kangaroo Point
Brisbane

21-25 April, 2011
Various
The National Folk Festival
Exhibition Park
Canberra

31 December, 2010
The Parlour, Woodford Folk Festival

29 December, 2010
The Bazaar, Woodford Folk Festival

28 December, 2010
The Parlour, Woodford Folk Festival

5 December, 2010
Queen Street Mall Stage
Brisbane, Australia

27 November, 2010
Cravin Just a Little Misbehavin” CD Launch
Old Museum
Brisbane, Queensland

17 October, 2010
Multicultural Festival
Amphitheatre Stage
Roma Street Parklands

5 June, 2010
The Powerhouse Turbine Platform
Brisbane, Queensland

16 June, 2010
Judith Wright Centre
Brisbane, Queensland

 

You can buy our CD online!
Choose your poison:




All manner of Laique paraphernalia available soon!


Courtesy BAM badges and magnets.


The End of the Day
Hush
Icarus Falling
Reverie
The Boat Song
What I Got Here
The Murder Ballad of Miss Belle Noir
Gracie of the Underworld
Merchants of Sin
The End of the Day (An absence of Gin)
Words and Music by K. Southwell

well she's the queen of shiny trinkets at the end of the day
She's got shoes and hats in boxes at the end of the day
when the sun goes away, all she ever cares to do is
play a little banjo and have a little fun

Well, he buys her lots of treats at the end of the day
She never wants for anything sweet at the end of the day
His kisses are many, his presents are many
so why is she craving just a little misbehaving?

Heaven, well that's what she's in...
Unless, heaven... has never heard of gin!
Martinis... one olive or two?
for that she'd give her left foot, perhaps even a shoe!

What do you do, with all of those shoes at the end of the day?
what does it matter if everyone's chattering at the end of the day?
When the sun goes away, all she ever cares to do is
play a little banjo and have a little fun
Hush
Words and Music by K. Southwell

Charlie horse has a cloud over his head
and i'm a little worried, it's something I said
his colours are all faded and his eyes a little dull
his melancholy, bothers me

was it the misty drinks of yesteryear
the clink of the drink as it poured in his ear
was it the fanfare that played until dawn 
when the sun put itself to sleep, after a long yawn

And flying monkeys hunt you down in your sleep
so I walk the halls, stare at walls, don't dare to make a peep
and you stand there and you pause, 
for what reason for what cause
your melancholy, bothers me

was it the misty drinks of yesteryear
the clink of the drink as it poured in his ear
was it the fanfare that played until dawn 
when the sun put itself to sleep, after a long yawn

Words, they come easily, not so for decency
Sings the lovers tale of the lonely nightingale
Temptations and travesties, penchants and parodies
What's that they say about the play of the clouds and the rain?

 
hush little baby don't you cry
mama's at the whorehouse and your papa's getting high
hush little baby don't you cry

Charlie horse has a cloud over his head
and i'm a little worried, it's something I said

Icarus Falling
Words and Music by K. Southwell

He never looked at me when the sun was bright 
only took my hand in the grey moonlight 
and never told a soul of our true love
He courted me when the fields were dark
and when all were asleep then he'd have my heart 
and his favourite place to dance was the old graveyard. 

so we lived out our days
beneath the moon's yellow gaze
and so we breathed to the wind
and curled up within

He'd wisk me away in the dead of night
and we'd meet for picnics in the faded light
of a single chandelier, hanging in the garden
And every night we'd make love amidst, 
the sleeping flowers then,
in the hazy mist of the morn i'd fall asleep, 
eternally alone at dawn

so we lived out our days
beneath the moon's yellow gaze
and so we breathed to the wind
and curled up

icarus, when we stayed up all night 
creating stories that we'll never write
icarus, when we planned concerts and 
parties we'll throw in castles,
we'll never own

but I see that look in your eye
the one that says that you can fly
and the sky's, only a window away
and every day. Seems further away. 

so we lived out our days
beneath the moon's yellow gaze
and so we breathed to the wind
and curled up within

Reverie
Words and Music by K. Southwell

She had a style so sweet, a smile to make the fellas weep,
a way to make them feel complete and beautiful inside
Divine, she is the prize, her eyes, reflect desires
She takes them in, her boudoir dim, and fills their heads with lies

The velvet drapes are dusty in the hazy light of dawn,
beetles crawling down the walls &
in the kitchen livin' in every drawer,
Shadows flicker on the floor from the ceiling fan
The morn is quiet but her head is reeling,
'round in circles waiting to land

The fever never did subside, with a bourgeoisie, sense of pride
In the dazy haze of the morning light, filled with reverie
Delirium, rushing in, a marionette in a house of sin,
As the petite suite of strings begin, to play her song of sighs

The velvet drapes are dusty in the hazy light of dawn,
beetles crawling down the walls &
in the kitchen livin' in every drawer,

Shadows flicker on the floor from the ceiling fan
The morn in quiet but her head is reeling,
'round in circles waiting to land

The blackened waters, draw her under, 
she slips within its sweet caress
The silver folds, of her silken deathly shroud, 
dance beyond her lasting breath
She walks, through the day upon the earth, 
leaving behind a feathered trail
those that see her, through the murmur of a cry, 
unrequited, unveiled

The Boat Song
Words and Music by K. Southwell

She couldn't find her peace of mind
he couldn't wish for another wish
they couldn't swim far enough to bring
all of their love, to shore without drowning

he wandered far, he wandered fro
she wondered where there was left to go
And they couldn't swim far enough to bring
all of their love, to shore without....

as the tides rose high, watched their chance go by
to save themselves
so she built a row boat

The tide rose silently but violently (x2)
Save yourself, oh save yourself, oh save yourself

She floated high, she floated low,
cast no regrets she cast no shadow
still they couldn't swim far enough to bring
all of their, to shore without drowning

as the tides rose high, watched their chance go by
to save themselves
so she packed a row boat

The tide rose silently but violently (x2)
Save yourself, oh save yourself, oh save yourself

What I Got Here 
Words by D. Megarrity, Music by S. Vincent

When girls drink wine they're feeling fine
When boys drink beer they have no fear
They drink away, then they slink away
But I got something that's here to stay 

A little night cap can maybe hit you like a slap
But what I got here will fill your little gap
Bourbon's too suburban and rum's too glum
but what I got here, you gotta get you some 

What I got here / What I got here / What I got here / is you

with your glasses in a stack you've been on the cognac
but some of what I got will get those spirits back
Put some lead in your pencil and some sugar in your bowl
A bird and a bush and a little hand to hold 

Just a little slip between the cup and my lips
Stir me up with a fingertip.
Set down that glass because it's perfectly clear
You gotta get you some of what I got here 

I've got you in my bloodstream / Got you in my brain
Flow down to my toes / Then back to my heart again
Back to my heart 
You make it start again 

One taste one touch just the sight of you
if you freeze on me, I'll take a bite of you
Day and night, right up to the height of you
I'm loving what I got in spite of you

The Murder Ballad of Miss Belle Noir
Words and Music by K. Southwell

She wanders 'round the half moon passing. 
She fills her glass with flowing red.
She dances 'round the silver garden, 
dead flowers brushing past her legs. 

do do do, do do do do do do...

Night birds they prey upon her beauty, 
they beckon her to join their skein. 
They call to her in sweet surrender, 
collect the threads for her refrain. 

Whispered tales of wicked betrayals, 
Haunted souls and deafening wails
Their sweet song abates her defence, 
releases her hold on the world as she...
Ascends, Soaring high and laughing wild, 
her wicked delight
Ascends to deprive the stars their right, 
to shine on her night. 

Midnight she soars above the gardens, 
her blood red nails against her throat
Her skin translucent in the moonlight, 
her woeful song that was never spoke

In death she follows those that falter, 
her shrill cry piecing through the night
Her face reflected in the memories of 
those who murdered her in life

Whispered tales of wicked betrayals, 
Haunted souls and deafening wails
Their sweet song abates her defence, 
releases her hold on the world as she...
Ascends, Flying high and laughing wild, 
her wicked delight
Ascends to deprive the stars their right, 
to shine on her night. 

do do do do do do do do do do do...

Gracie of the Under World
Words and Music by K. Southwell

According this trip guide 
I've got one more sip to sip but I'd
rather skull it down

And I'm opening the pages
at random locations
and drink the words down

And you'd invent the ending using ink upon my skin
blue birds fly behind my eye they sing the tales within

Tiptoeing round the obvious, 
Sewing up the seams
Ruffle up the feathers and nestle in between

Layer by layer
tear off transparent skin
Odious and tangible, dig your fingers in

You smooth over the rought bits
and smile between the lines
Testing your resolve with a glass of fine wine
well it was fine, at the time
It was fine, at the time

I've musings to rattle the bones of the dead
Thoughts, like buzzards curl up in my bed.  
hunger like buzzards curls up in my bed.  

Everything's clear now, now that you're here now
now that the skies are blue

One of these times now, I'm gonna find out
what did happen to you

but for the time now, you're all mine now
life is all cherries and blooms

you can be calm now, right on my arm now
now that i'm together with you

For all the times we were apart, 
there was a dark cloud over my heart
For all the times that you were away, 
I cried all the night and all of the day....

The Merchants of Sin
Words and Music by K. Southwell

profits they trade / salvation made
in tasting the drink / of bitterness
they pass through the day pass through the night
groping around for a breath of life

tasting the reap of what they sew
welding a trophy of what they know
the greed in their eyes sharp and alive 
a hunger for that, which lives between their thighs

For the, merchants of sin they find such pleasure within 
the brave and delicate things that they 
Buy and sell with devilish whim (x 2)

you're standing so tall face to the wall
you're wishing away that once adored
falling upon each offered prize
tasting the treats of which you've been denied

the murmurs within they stir the din
the joker he smiles the bets are in
4 and 20 blackbirds, he tips it closed and signs, 
with your lips. 

For the, merchants of sin they find such pleasure within 
the brave and delicate things that they 
Buy and sell with devilish whim (x 2)

Everyone around here knows it's name
the bars are crawling with the same refrain
The street lights die, The trams go by
The brilliant ones lie, the weak ones die

All the precious things with their shiny toys
charming the devilish pants off those boys
the treasures they bring are bursting at the seams
you wish you were the queen of all those shiny shiny dreams
(bursting at the seams with all the treasure they bring
and you wish that you were the king)
Buy our debut CD from CD Baby!
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Kylie Southwell
E-mail:
info@laique.com.au

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