Brilliantly versatile... Laurie Shaw shines!

In the final part of our five-part series, our correspondents, Eddie Kiely (FIFA Records) and Eddie Butt (bass player with Emperor of Ice Cream), profile Laurie Shaw.   
Brilliantly versatile... Laurie Shaw shines!

Laurie Shaw: A touch of magic!

Over the decades, Cork has continually had a plethora of bands, labels, venues, and promoters.  The ‘Rebel County’ has consistently produced not just great acts, but acts that had in their possession a swagger, an edge, and an ability to write and create music that would lead you to believe there’s some special ingredient in the water of the ‘People’s Republic’. 

To describe Laurie Shaw as prolific would be a massive understatement. Eddie Kiely and Eddie Butt report... 

Laurie Shaw is a Wirral-born, Cork-based songwriter and producer.
Describing Shaw as prolific would be a massive understatement, having recorded over 30 albums by the time he was 21.

Laurie Shaw: Brilliantly versatile.
Laurie Shaw: Brilliantly versatile.

Now still only in his mid-20s his discography already consists of an approximately mammoth 75 full- length albums, all of which were recorded at his parent’s mountain home in Co Kerry.

When bringing his albums to a live setting as Laurie Shaw & The Swamp People, he enlisted some of Cork’s most talented musicians including Dan O’Sullivan, Conor McSweeney, Eoin Conway, Steven Flynn, and Mark Waldron-Hyden.

  

The obvious workaholic has recorded up to 12 albums in one year. He embodies a DIY ethic and while he is proving superbly prolific, he is also brilliantly versatile. Though the lack of excitement for such a varied and at times a very accessible artist is often difficult to understand.

How brilliantly versatile Shaw really is can be seen by taking a closer look at only a handful of his albums. 2014’s Petra, is a fantastic listen. The album, 13 tracks, at times reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys and of which Shaw himself said: “It’s a bit of a departure from my other albums just in it’s a bit sunnier.”

Weird Weekends, a 2018 release is an album born out of nostalgia for his teenage years growing up in
Kenmare, which ranges from ballads to rock. 2018 also so the release of Year Zero, which was justifiably
selected by ‘Nialler 9’ in his Top 20 Irish Albums of 2018 list and is an exploration of fuzzy guitar sounds and psychedelic pop. His 2019 offering, Scared Of Dogs, deals with mental health and friendships, sincere lyrics delivered alongside delicate guitars that often transform into pulsating dark waves. Shaw teamed up with UK-based independent label ‘Sunstone Records’ for the 2019 release of the excellent double vinyl LP Felted Fruit. “The record was inspired by the concept of 30 7in records being left in the sun to melt and consequently meld into one
another.”

The record is a breathless frenzy of two-minute blasts, journeying through fuzzy garage, psych rock and dusted with a tinge of pop.

Yet another 2019 release is the excellent Helvetica, which the Irish Times describes as “glitchy pop, scrappy punk”.

 

Shaw is excellent and there is no doubting very much his own person, but also in our humble opinion, to say Shaw is an underappreciated artist is completely justified, there is no doubt he is of one of Ireland’s most prolific and exciting songwriters and producers that deserves to have a wider audience.

However, Shaw’s take on how things should be done is invigorating in an increasingly bogus industry, where digital platforms now rule the roost, all the time making vast amounts of money at the expense of artists.

   

Shaw’s output is immense, already boasting a back catalogue that most musicians could only dream of and with the rate he is producing top-class albums, this man should have a glittering career ahead of him.

However, don’t take our word for it, check out his Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and YouTube channels for his back catalogue, we are confident will not be disappointed

 

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