Wednesday, June 21, 2006

King Creosote Rules - OK?

That title could be read in an aggressive "What you lookin’ at" kinda way, but that wouldn’t be fitting for Kenny Anderson, the man who calls himself King Creosote. He seems like such a nice guy, with his quiet demeanour and self-effacing style. I found this out during his solo acoustic mini-tour of London bars and record shops over the weekend. I caught him at Pure Groove on Holloway Road on Monday afternoon.

Pure Groove is pretty tiny. There’s about 15 people watching KC, and it still seems a little crowded (how did Tilly and the Wall manage to all fit in and play here recently?) However, it’s comfortable, and Kenny is on form, both in playing his tunes and chatting with his small audience. He regales us with tales of sheep urine and drunk driving from his recent trip to the remote Scottish island of Eigg. His humour is a little too self-deprecating at times. Honestly, Kenny, you just don’t have be so apologetic. We really like your solo acoustic stuff. We don’t mind that the Earlies’ production is nowhere to be heard. We think that your cover of Martin Craft’s You Are The Music is great, so stop apologising to him.

But he's charming company for 40 minutes or so as he plays through songs from his latest (Earlies-produced) album KC Rules OK, and some other gems, including the aforementioned cover. The album was originally released last year (one of my top 10 of 2005), but has just been re-released by his label with a couple of tracks re-recorded for some reason. Not sure why. Maybe I should have asked him.

KC doesn't seem to be a guitar wanker. He says he only owns two, and that both of them are currently broken. So he's borrowed a guitar from HMS Ginafore, an artist from the Fence Collective, a group of folk musicians based in Fife (east coast of Scotland, if your UK geography is dodgy) of which Kenny is the founder and leading light. The return gesture is that he plays one of her songs. It's lovely too.

King Creosote is out and about at a good few UK festivals this summer, so if you're going to any, there's a fair chance that you'll get to see him. Maybe you too will fall for his subtle charms. And there's clearly people out there who fully expect his fanbase to grow - like ambitious London gig promoters Eat Your Own Ears, who are putting on a KC gig at the 2000 capacity Shepherd's Bush Empire in October. That's a bit more than 15, but if there's any musical heart in London, The Empire will be full that night.

From KC Rules OK (buy it from Amazon)

Download: King Creosote - 678
Download: King Creosote - Marguerita Red

(These are the original versions)

From Kenny and Beth's Musakal Boat Rides (buy it from Amazon)

Download: King Creosote - Spokes
Download: King Creosote - So Forlorn

Bonus - from M. Craft's You Are The Music single (buy from Rough Trade)

Download: King Creosote - You Are The Music


Anonymous said...

I was all set to go to see King Creasote on Monday... would have bumped into you.

Was all set to head off to Archway when I got the email from Popstarz about Scissor Sisters tickets. Still a bit gutted about missing KC in such a small setting, but the sisters more than made up for it.

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