Spirit of 1986 in the good-time vibe of home-grown indie-pop stalwarts
ACCORDING to the website Reverbnation, LAF is the number one indie-pop band in the East Midlands – a tribute happily received by the Derby-based group who recently released their latest single, Learning To Let Go.
Originally called Lost And Found – during the era of Hue And Cry – LAF were formed in 1986 as a two-piece consisting of Phil Matthews and Alastair Boden.
The pair met at work and discovered they had a shared interest.
They were both in other bands at the time but wrote a 10-track album together which they recorded in a small studio in Phil's house and found they had a good rapport.
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In 2009, Phil and Alastair finally decided to turn their two-piece into a full band, introducing Rachel McCullough on harmony vocals and Andy Dobson on bass and backing vocals.
Andy and Alistair had played together in the past in a band called Omen Searcher and the transition was a smooth one.
The new line-up developed LAF as a vibrant indie-pop band.
Their catchy songs and upbeat vibe tends to get audiences singing along and often, up on their feet dancing too.
Musically, LAF's style ranges from folky tunes to slow heart-filled songs with touching lyrics, though the band members still see themselves primarily as fitting the indie-pop genre.
In terms of songwriting, Phil and Boden jointly take the reins.
They develop the tunes between them and Alastair takes responsibility for penning the lyrics.
The catchy songs which emerge from their partnership can often be heard at the Book Café, one of the band's favourite venues in the Derby area.
Phil said: "At every gig, our aim is to entertain the audience and hopefully convert a few of them to our music – maybe get a return engagement, too, if we go down well."
The band has played to hundreds of happy festival goers at the Wickerman Festival at Brassington last summer and at Beefstock in Allestree.
However, not all their performances have been memorable for the right reasons.
The band recalled a gig they played at the Star and Garter in Burton, where the audience comprised just three intoxicated Hells Angels, who called themselves the Slaves of Satan.
LAF seem adept at offering music which appeals to a wide range of tastes, whether you are looking for relaxing music to enjoy a coffee by or tunes to sing and dance to.
They have something for everyone and are genuinely a friendly band who enjoy interacting with their audience.