Two simple words emblazon the entrance to the Roman fortress of music that is The Horn. SOLD OUT. It’s of no surprise when having made the perilous journey south, passing Hadrian’s Wall, King Creosote is now within these city walls. Founder member of the folk stable Fence Collective, which boasts James Yorkston and Picktish Trail amongst its ranks, King Creosote has long been one of the most prolific singer-songwriters upon these windy isles. Tonight, with great credit to JuiceBox Promotions, St. Albans is in for a real Celtic treat.
Beginning as glowing embers, ‘You Just Want’ builds slowly towards dancing flames. Hypnotic and captivating, with a warmth only a campfire can bring. The band’s make-up of guitars, drums, double bass, piano and violin has a rural, rustic beauty and the voice of King Creosote, or Kenny Anderson to his mum, is every bit familiar and effortless as on record, making the experience all the more personal from the start. Let it never be said Kenny doesn’t know how to get a party in full swing. The folk disco that is ‘Wake Up To This’ and 6music radio hit ‘One Night Only’, are numbers to give you ants in your pants, that make you do the hula dance, adding to the impact when proceedings are slowed down with a trademark melancholic gem.
With an almost infinite back-catalogue to choose from, KC keeps to his most recent delight ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’, along with cameos from his sublime LPs ‘KC Rules OK’ and ‘Welcome to Scotland’. All of which lend a highlight tonight. If there is a more soul striking live performance this year before me than ‘Betelgeuse’, then I myself have clearly sailed to oblivion for the peace at last that KC describes, and it has indeed “squeezed the arctic breathe out of my lungs”. To write to this level so far onwards in a career is nothing short of remarkable and without a doubt a truly magical moment to have witnessed.
Never to be overlooked, Luton finds itself surprisingly represented in the set. We do have a habit of getting everywhere. ‘Come Back And Stay’, made famous by Paul Young, gets the KC treatment and brings a proud smile to this Lutonian. As grand a moment it may be, it’s not this version of local boy goes global that resonates with me the most, I must be truthful. No, that prize without question goes to ‘Pauper’s Dough”, and it writes itself as to why..
“You have to rise out of the gutter you are inside..”
Look it up. Listen. Close your eyes, and you’ll understand.
And we surely will.
Tonight Kenny Anderson introduced all of his bandmates as the finest in Scotland. So I feel it is only fair to sign off with praise to King Creosote, the finest singer-songwriter in Scotland, and beyond.