King Creosote marries classic folk tradition with humility and charismatic aplomb, Getintothis’ Emma Walsh tells the younger generation to take note.
Last month King Charles, this month King Creosote, we hereby declare ourselves Getintothis‘ official Royal Correspondent.
And The Kazimier was looking suitably lavish for the Scottish King’s visit on Sunday; the stage draped with red velvet curtains, candlelit tables, all bums on pews, it was all very civilised.
The bald, bearded Gummi Bako, armed with acoustic guitar, did his very best to undo all civilised pretension by making people snort beer through their noses in laughter and distorting his Scottish twang into cartoon-like voices. Had we closed our eyes while he sang What A Grey Day we would have been utterly convinced that it was Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast.
Having warmed up the throne, Bako gave way for Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote, looking particularly unregal as he hobbled on stage on crutches.
Initial japes involving his djembe player unravelling a scroll and a string of expletives, KC insists we go ‘apeshit’ Transylvanian style in celebration of his ‘big Eastern European hit’. With more than a hint of irony, the audience very agreeably oblige, whooping and cheering in their finest Transylvanian.
We’re ‘rewarded’ for rubbing his ego with perhaps the greatest song ever written, the ‘La-de-da-de-da-de-da-de-dum’ song which had everyone giggling throughout. Great music and a laugh, Kenny was definitely making sure the audience got their money’s worth.
Anderson fits the classic folk star mould; simple melodies, masterful song-writing and raw tones lending his music a distinct character that’s very much a rarity. And ‘character’ is exactly the word to describe Anderson himself – charming the crowd with one-liners and comic anecdotes.
He has a humble, engaging persona that’s amiss from the vast array of younger yet blander acts playing the folk game. He doesn’t waste time and energy trying to look cool – it would have been particularly difficult considering the cast on his leg – he simply sings, has a laugh and everyone goes home happy. What more could you ask for on a Sunday night?
Well apparently, dancing. As shouts for something a bit more upbeat came from one of the drunker corners of the Kazimier, Anderson obliged with as-disco-a-number as he could muster – You Just Don’t Know. On the Night of the Bonfire follows, complete with gratuitous African drums as his djembe sidekick gives it some welly.
In a bid to explain the elephant in the room, his mysterious broken ankle, he knocked out a lyrical summary which included misleading references to fluffing and dogging before ending with the less riveting conclusion that he had simply fallen over in a boatyard.
Having given the audience so great a role in the running of his set, King Creosote almost lost control over it entirely as his introduction of a Simon and Garfunkel cover led to an impromptu chorus of Bright Eyes from the balcony before he could get round to his planned Only Living Boy in New York.
Swerving the pre-requisite walk-off/walk back on encore tradition (the ankle put pay to that) he instead delivers another 20 minutes of song-writing gold, including the wonderful Codliver Oil And The Orange Juice. A right royal triumph.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Tom Adam.