Getintothis‘ Alan O’Hare places the spotlight on the indefatigable Kenny Anderson who brings his charm, whimsy and Caledonian soul to the Epstein Theatre this week.
Writing music for a film can be a dangerous thing – especially when you’re coming off the biggest hit of your career. Fortunately, King Creosote (AKA Kenny Anderson of Fife) doesn’t do fear or ambition. He just ‘does’ music.
And lots of it: the man who founded the influential Fence Records (KT Tunstall, James Yorkston etc.) released his 15th album this year, the wonderfully evocative From Scotland With Love. It’s a cracker – and doubles as the soundtrack to a film commissioned as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Coming, as it does, hot on the heels of his Mercury-nominated collaboration with Jon Hopkins – the brilliant Diamond Mine – there were more ears than ever cocked towards his next release. Not that Anderson gave a fig – he just wanted the music to ring true: “The film is all Scottish archive footage and that the backdrop is Scotland – but I worry about that a bit, because I think we’ve got as much right in Scotland to comment on art, and life, from everywhere else. And in many ways, the film and music’s not about Scotland – it’s about any industrialised nation.”
The same attention to detail pours from the music, too. Sure, the melody lines and tempos don’t reinvent the wheel, but they don’t half tug at your heart strings. A bit like Anderson’s voice – that emotional muttering, say, Bon Iver, brought to the party and the hipsters jumped upon: that’s been King Creosote’s stock in trade for years.
He’s a gifted songwriter, great arranger and a lively performer: no two shows are the same. From Scotland With Love, the record, drifts from ethereal hums to swinging bossa nova’s and arrives at all points in between. Will it work live?
Of course, as the man himself says of the music: “None of the details, none of the social fabric, is inherently Scottish at all. In my small life, I’ve travelled everywhere, and it’s the same wherever you go.”
For some things, at sometimes, it’s the same time all over the world. King Creosote brings Scotland With Love and his emotional mutterings to the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool October 8.