Monday, 12 July 2010

You gave up on easter for your vegan chums...

The next line of this song, Not One Bit Ashamed by the mighty King Creosote, goes "It's not good enough, not good enough." The very opposite is always, in my experience, true of a live gig by the man himself.

This photo's from a recent outing to Oran Mor as part of the West End Festival, which I'd not got round to posting due to excessive gardening activity (see rest of blog).

I've written lots about Kenny (Anderson, aka KC) in the past and this must have been about the tenth time I'd been to see him live. This was billed as a solo-show, just Kenny and his guitar and accordion - though clearly not simultaneously; that really would be a heck of a show.

Admiral Fallow opened proceedings with an excellent set and were not shy to show their influences. Echoes of King Creosote himself mixed with another Fence star, James Yorkston though the most striking resemblance, particularly on the vocals, was to the sublime Frightened Rabbit. Some heavy duty talent to live up to then. They have an album out just now with the worrying title, "Boots Met My Face" - hopefully a reference to a trip to the cosmetics counter in a well known high street pharmacy chain rather than a late night encounter in a dark lane with a group of neds. The singer was a wee bit mumbly on the night so I couldn't make out the song titles but this one, Squealing Pigs, rings a bell and is a lovely, jangly song which starts in that almost sound-of-the-sea way that James Yorkston's best stuff does. Highly recommended.

Mr. Anderson was in typically charming mood. Shorn of beard, he looks even more cheeky and elfin than usual and kicked off in contrarily quiet and almost downbeat fashion with the beautiful "And The Racket They Made". Such quiet contemplation is normally the stuff of mid-set slow downs but KC used it to grab attention in the way a good teacher does: speak quietly and they just have to listen. A reverential hush gave way to rapturous applause as the last chords were plucked.

Never playing a song the same way twice and often delving deep into a back catalogue of over forty (!) albums, a King Creosote gig is always an entertaining experience where one learns to expect the unexpected. Tonight we were treated to the use of a rattling toy elephant as percussion, a new song written in collaboration on which the ink was still so wet Kenny had to read the lyrics from a big "This Is Your Life" style red book in front of him and a blistering guest appearance on moothie from legendary man-about-the-west-end, Kenny McCluskey. So talented is the former Bluebell that you actually want to take up the harmonica because he makes it look so easy and sound so damn good.

Throughout the evening there had been occasional references to Kenny's Fence Records right-hand man and long time collaborator, Johhny "Pictish Trail" Lynch so it was no great surprise and no small delight when he was persuaded to join KC on stage for a couple of encores. It's always a delight - tinged with awe and envy - to watch talented musos just slip into comfortably matching each other's playing and harmonising as if they were a well rehearsed act; this was no exception and a reprise of "Not One Bit Ashamed" brought the sweaty subterranean proceedings to a close. trail

No comments: