King Creosote is still living on the marie celeste that is Crail in north east Fife, and recently released Astronaut Meets Appleman on Domino Records in 2016, which sees him back performing with full band in galley. Returning to the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow, this time for Celtic Connections, Kenny Anderson was joined by a fantastic team of musicians to promote the new album including Found’s vocalist and solo musician, Ziggy, or as known recently, Lomond Campbell.
Kenny Anderson known by most by his stage name, King Creosote, is a dedicated independent singer-songwriter from Fife. To date, Anderson has released over forty albums, with his latest, including the aforementioned most recent. Anderson is also a member of Scottish-Canadian band The Burns Unit. In 2011, Anderson’s collaborative album with Jon Hopkins, Diamond Mine, was nominated for the Mercury Prize and the Scottish Album of the Year Award, adding to his musical acclaim.
Following his renowned From Scotland With Love tour, which seemed prolonging, it is no easy task to fill the room with the same momentum and buzz as has been lingering around this Fife talent over the last few years, but he seems to pull it off with the help of many others. Performing to a packed crowd in Glasgow’s Merchant City, King Creosote followed the ever-so-tall and humble singer Charlie Cunningham with an entourage the size of a band such as Spiritiualized or a tiny BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra, with the likes of stunning lyricist Amy MacDougall (also known solo as BEAM) on backing vocals, Peter Harvey on cello or the ever-so-talented drummer Andy Robertson, leading the rhythm section.
Astronaut Meets Appleman as an LP considers the conflict but also the forging of modernity with the more traditional which is something perhaps borne out of issues with social media and technology. With the birth of Anderson’s daughter, Louie Wren, it is understandable that the songwriting and music alludes to a time when children were innocently enjoying the freedom of their imagination and the outdoors, rather than our more technological times.
With a swelling band as lush as this at times I was in awe of tracks performed such as Surface and Wake Up To This and the gorgeous You Just Want, but unfortunately at times, due to the poor sound of the venue Anderson’s vocals were lost among the swell. The tribute to Dougie Paul, one of the Athletes in James Yorkston’s band, who unfortunately passed away has the perfect balance of melody and discord to encourage inflection, stunningly melancholic in its form. On other tracks, the harpsichord along with the synth creates a rather unique sound, which culminates this unique record of King Creosotes. The buzz of the venue, however, is evident, but occasionally seems to be lacking a little in the general crowd. Is it perhaps because his attentions seem to be to the band on stage, as the singer clearly enjoys the gig, whilst performing. And why not, I guess?!