King Creosote – The Button Factory – 19-05-15


Some good news on a Wednesday lunchtime, with Scottish hero King Creosote visiting these shores for one night only, that being the 19th of May. It’s a Tuesday night, which isn’t ideal for going on the tear, but attendance is compulsory, so get yourself organised! Full details and a short history are below!
King Creosote  – Tuesday 19th May 2015 – The Button Factory
Tickets €16 including booking fee from and usual outlets

A Short History of King Creosote

If you build a fence then you have to treat it, as any DIY buff will tell you. You have to make it durable; to help it help us weather storms. Fife’s Kenny Anderson realised this when he conceived his micro-label, Fence, in 1994 – and so he treated it, then treated us, with an alt-pop alter-ego: King Creosote.

Since then, Anderson has become of Scotland’s most acclaimed, and most prolific, singer-songwriters: a squeezebox Casanova with a cosmic wordplay fetish; a seafaring pop heart-breaker whose voice leaves gentle devastation in its wake. He was short-listed for 2011’s Mercury Prize thanks to Diamond Mine, his sublime collaboration with Jon Hopkins.

Diamond Mine’s “beautiful songs about ageing and loss” (five stars, the Guardian), were cast against Anderson’s home in the East Neuk of Fife, and excavated from his extensive back-catalogue, which spans over 50 albums (and counting). Many of these were hand- made and self-released via Fence, including his debut King Creosote CDR – a 1998 anthology of skewed-pop DIY recordings, entitled Queen of Brush County. (Every King needs a Queen, after all.)

Other key LPs in the KC canon include Kenny and Beth’s Musakal Boat Rides (Domino, 2003), Rocket DIY (Domino, 2005), KC Rules OK (Names, 2005 – a collaboration with Lancastrian psych-pop rodeos The Earlies), Bombshell (Names, 2007 – co-produced by Hopkins), Flick the Vs (Domino, 2009) and his live-only album, My Nth Bit of Strange. Anderson is also a member of indie-folk supergroup The Burns Unit, whose dulcet number includes The Delgados’ Emma Pollock, Sushil Dade (Future Pilot AKA), Karine Polwart, and hip-hop firebrand MC Soom T.

Anderson rarely, if ever, stops. His 2013 releases alone included an EP collection entitled That Might Well Be It, Darling (Domino), a gorgeous, accordion-led compendium called Sure and Steadfast (whose proceeds go to his local boats club) and Experimental Batch #26 (a Dewar House collaboration also starring Raghu Dixit, FOUND’s Lomond Campbell and Slow Club among others) – as well as a single with folk chanteuse Heidi Talbot (‘Button Up’). He also played a starring role in Songs in the Key of Fife, Vic Galloway’s recent book about King Creosote, The Fence Collective, The Beta Band and the kinships therein.

Galloway’s book traces Anderson’s history, and pays homage to KC’s mid-90s bluegrass- punk rabbles the Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra (which starred a young KT Tunstall alongside KC band mainstays, drummer Captain Geeko the Dead Aviator and bassist Uncle Beesly), and Khartoum Heroes. It also charts the lineage of Fence – from a private label conceived for Anderson’s home recordings, via his Fence record shop in St Andrews, to the gigs he helmed in said royal burgh’s Aikman’s bar, under The Fence Collective banner. These shindigs welcomed the illustrious likes of Anderson’s brothers Gordon (Lone Pigeon) and Een (Pip Dylan), James Yorkston and, not least, KC’s enduring psychobilly sidekick (and KC band guitarist), Gummi Bako.

In January 2014, Anderson completed his first-ever film soundtrack for Virginia Heath’s poetic documentary, From Scotland With Love. The film weaves Scottish archive film footage with King Creosote compositions – and vice versa – and the project is set to culminate in a major live performance on July 31, as part of Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme.

Meanwhile, Fence continues to thrive, thanks to home-grown live events like February’s World Tour of Crail and Easter’s Yellae Deuks (in nearby Anstruther) – not to mention King Creosote’s ongoing penchant for writing fanzines; carving box-sets; making things. It may be ramshackle, patched-up and hand-painted, but the DIY Scottish pop throne is his.


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