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imp: King Creosote + The Pictish Trail + Player Piano @ The Lemon Tree

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interesting music promotions and the fence collective present:

KING CREOSOTE + THE PICTISH TRAIL + PLAYER PIANO

Sunday 24th May 2009

The Lemon Tree, 5 West North Street, Aberdeen AB24 5AT.

Doors 7.30pm

Tickets 14 subject to booking fee

Available from Aberdeen Box Office (His Majesty's Theatre, Rosemount Viaduct or the Music Hall, Union Street) Phone 01224 641122 or http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com

http://www.myspace.com/interestingmusic

king_creosote2.jpg

KING CREOSOTE

King Creosote is still living on the marie celeste that is Crail in north east Fife, and has returned to the good ship Domino for the release of his umpteenth long player Flick the Vs.

When asked of his three year mainstream sabbatical, KC had this rather fishy tale to tell...

"If KC rules OK was the sunny and relaxed outcome of spending an afternoon with the Earlies, paddling about in the rock pools of Morecambe, breeks rolled up to the knees, a net in one hand and a plastic pail full of small crabs in the other, then Bombshell felt like a month aboard a modern trawler out near Norwegian waters under the command of new skipper Jon Hopkins, yellow sou'westers and oilskins to fore and aft, battling the elements to fill our quotas of haddock and bream. In comparison, Flick the Vs was to have been a Sunday night's angling off the main pier in Anstruther, but it didn't turn out quite so tranquil. This time around skipper Paul Savage sent the Earlies out whaling near Iceland, whilst the Fence boys took a small rowing boat onto Loch Awe for a spot of salmon poaching. Steve Mason himself pulled up a couple of creels out there by the end of the sewage pipe, whilst Hopkins just had to make do with the purchase of a packet of scampi fries to eat whilst sunbathing on the railway platform at Ladybank."

http://www.myspace.com/kingcreosote

http://www.myspace.com/pictishtrail

http://myspace.com/playerpianomusic

http://www.fencerecords.com

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SWEET.

Wait.

BOLLOCKS. I'm in fudging Leeds that weekend!! Is this part of a tour or a one off?

Part of a tour.

Player Piano is brilliant - make sure you catch him.

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There's a date in Leeds, which, depending on the day I go down, might be do-able. Unfortunately, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are playing while I'm in the city also and I can't really drag my host to two gigs....

or maybe I can....

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Good ship Fence first mate the Pictish Trail aka Johnny Lynch has kept his sunstroke in check, and has a few things to say of new KC album 'Flick the Vs'.

PT: Album opener No One Had It Better starts with a misleadingly quiet Tubeway Army-esque vocoder intro, inviting the listener to turn up the volume dial, and up further still... A thuddering bass drum, rolling toms and a biting snare soon cracks in to transform the song into a soaring seven minute krautrock epic that relentlessly builds and builds.

KC: It's a mantric response to all those accusations of "sell out", and as such draws on familiar themes from 'KC rules OK'.

PT: KC's plaintive vocal and signature accordion summon Two Frocks At a Wedding, suggesting a more straightforward ballad - but 20 seconds in and 80's drum machines and synths hover over with stark menace, making way for an unashamedly funk bassline to parade its way through. It's Reproduction-era Human League meets Station to Station Bowie that even manages to pack in a highland bagpipe-sampling hip hop coda.

KC: Cross-dressing, wedding kilts, small town homophobia... it's all in here.

PT: Camels Swapped For Wives centres around KC's vocal - a croaky slap-back drawl that clears its throat with a breath-drawing "fuck" before crooning into an irresistible lilting falsetto. Lennon-drenched piano teeters you over the edge for the eyes closed heart wrenchingly anthemic chorus that'll have you gritting teeth and smiling back tears.

KC: The effects of mental illness on the whole family, as it happens.

PT: Barking two-tone brass and a pounding hammer dulcimer feature on the buoyant Earlies-driven No Way She Exists. Mysterious electronic whistling and KC's vocal float over and above the swell of guitars and scuffing mandolin.

KC: Misogyny from all directions of the compass!

PT: The delicately ambient Fell An Ox softly hints at instruments brushing past your ear until KC sweeps them together so that they pop and fizz into a percussive lullaby, a solitary fuzzed up Casio provides a short melody while waves of piano slowly swell and hush.

KC: Unwanted attentions.

PT: Conversely Coast On By rasps with an angry electro-bass synth breaking into a Dexy's infused Motown stomp; imagine Kevin Rowland fronting Hot Chip and you're close!

KC: There's times when you can't face leaving the house let alone taking the Anstruther road west out of the village.

PT: A mumbled "shit" opens the ethereal Nothing Rings True; KC, acoustic guitar aloft, finds himself up to his waist in a sea of sound, wading through layers of distorted feedback, dictaphone echo, and sparse piano motifs recalling the dislocated textures of Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden.

KC: This was an experiment in not listening to each other, playing cards and two timing.

PT: Meanwhile the melancholic wheeze of Curtain Craft with its pleading waltz, undeniably beautiful xylophone and smirking mathematical stabs of brass, shares a solemn sincerity with early Everything But The Girl. Simplicity reigns supreme here - the mere addition of accordion in the second verse following the vocal melody for arguably the most gorgeous moment of the album.

KC: In a song involving nosey neighbours Ive used a few musical tricks to mimic the twitching of curtains.

PT: Rims is a different beast altogether - a bluegrass shuffle turned Broadway showtune with its self-deprecating yet oddly chirpy refrains of I am the worst and let me remind you/that you have a menu. Cajun accordion dances over skiffled drums that morph into electronic snares until it becomes full on, unadulterated techno.

KC: A rejection from the village bike will have long reaching and cruel repercussions in later life I fear.

PT: Album closer Saw Circular Prowess is a gargantuan epic of Moz proportions - cymbals splash and strop, strings glide and swoon, with piano and bass brooding over it all. KC's falsetto cuts an ominous character (does it hurt less over there?) and persists as the song builds heavily, never threatening to cut away early, eyes fixed and Vs flicked.

KC: Vile language - bile, ulcers, acid, vinegar - are embroidered onto a proggy cape.

PT & KC: this new album, played loud, should have KC fans jumping around in their waders and giving two fingered salutes to whomever passes the window.

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Here's the video for the new KC single 'Coast On By'

The song was produced by Steve Mason (Beta Band, KBT, etc), fact fans.

Ace...

Proper sticks in your head pop music!

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Proper sticks in your head pop music!

Single of the month in The Skinny

The Dirty Dozen - April, 2009 :: The Skinny

Which only leaves the coronation of King Creosote as maker of Single of the Month. Coast On By (****, 27 Apr) would probably have ended up as just another acoustic folk number from the Fence collective heid honcho, were it not for the cut n paste antics of ex-Beta Band frontman Steve Mason, who adds snarling synth to the cosily melodic KC blueprint.

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Recent interview with Kenny from The Scotsman

Kenny Anderson Interview: Coming home again - The Scotsman

Kenny Anderson Interview: Coming home again

Published Date: 04 April 2009

KENNY ANDERSON'S MUSIC HAS always had a bittersweet edge to it. Even when he's obviously having a ball on stage as his alter-ego King Creosote, playing his most uplifting, triumphant tunes and surrounded by the friendly faces of his Fife-based Fence Collective, there's still a just-perceptible tinge of melancholia a background hum of heartbreak.

On new album Flick the Vs, however, this latent sadness often creeps out from the shadows and takes centre stage. On Coast on By he sings candidly about the disastrous impact his on-the-road lifestyle is having on his homelife; on Camels Swapped for Wives he references the psychological illness suffered by his brother Gordon, formerly of the Beta Band and now recording and performing again with The Aliens; and on the most tear-jerking song of all, Curtain Craft, he is uncomfortably honest about his state of mind following his split from long-term partner and fellow songsmith Jenny Gordon.

In the latter track, a delicate waltz with sensitive backing from folk-psychedelia outfit, The Earlies, Anderson sings: "I don't want you seeing me broken / I don't want that, I don't want that / I can't leave the room eyes all swollen / I can't have that, I can't have that." The trademark happy/sad ambiguity is long gone, in other words this is as straightforwardly tragic and confessional as music gets.

"It was a very new song and it was a very raw song," Anderson says. "I hadn't had time to go through it and either de-sensitise it or make it a bit less what's the word? weighty.

"Sometimes with these songs I leave them a while, until the emotions have blown over. Then with a bit of distance I can go, 'ach, that's all right, I'm over it now'. But that one was brand-new. It was just lifted straight off my Dictaphone and I was still in the same space, so it was kinda like 'ooof, this is a wee bit of an ouchy moment'."

The last couple of years haven't been easy for Anderson. In 2005 his career seemed to have taken off when he was signed to 679 Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music, but his second release for the label, 2007's Bombshell, wasn't the Radio One playlisted breakthrough everyone had hoped for.

"My relationship with 679 ended just after Bombshell came out," he says. "Instead of renewing their contract with Warners, the owners of the label sold it to Atlantic. The guys at Atlantic are proper businessmen they look at the bottom line so they probably went down the 679 roster and went 'hmm, this Streets guy, he's selling a lot of records, let's keep him er hold on, who are these duffers?' and I was one of the duffers.

"It was weird, cos I was trying to be really enthusiastic about Bombshell, but knowing that it had a very short shelf-life right from the word go. The album was out in September 2007, and this was all happening in November and December. By January last year I knew that that was going to be it."

Anderson bounced back with a self-released album entitled They Flock Like Vulcans to See Old Jupiter Eyes. Then, following his split from Gordon (aka HMS Ginafore), the pair released a joint album about their break-up entitled Love + Hate > Hate. Flick the Vs, however, marks Anderson's return to the mainstream. He's back with Domino, the label that released his 2003 album Kenny and Beth's Musakal Boat Rides, and he seems happy about this return to his roots.

"It's great being with the guys at Domino," he says. "I've known them a long time and they listen to me. They understand I'm not comfortable in front of a camera and they understand that I just want to get on with things. That's what's so refreshing now, and it wouldn't be that way if I was still with Warners. I would still have been working with people who " He trails off.

"There just wasn't that same bond. I didn't really know them and I didn't quite understand why they had to do things they way they did. I still don't. But, you know, Domino is very grounded and it's been superb so far. I'm back with the gang that's what it feels like coming home again."

In addition to working on his solo career, Anderson has continued to develop the record-label-cum-mutual-appreciation-society known as the Fence Collective, of which he is a founder member.

Based in the fishing town of Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife, the collective is run if it can be said to be "run" in any conventional sense by Anderson and his right hand man Johnny Lynch. Its members perform under a range of pseudonyms that make them sound like characters in some psychedelic 1970s kids' TV show. Anderson is better known as King Creosote; Lynch goes by the moniker Pictish Trail. Other notable Fencers include Gummi Bakko, Uncle Beesly and The Red Well.

Fence could be described as a cottage industry record label, in the sense that it regularly puts out music recorded by its members on next-to-no budget. However, it's unlike any other music label in the UK or probably the world, for that matter in that all its staff are musicians, all its musicians are staff, everyone seems to play on everyone else's records, and live performances featuring one Fence musician can include various other Fencers or none at all. Even Anderson himself struggles to define exactly what the Collective is.

"The easiest way to describe it is to describe the personalities of everyone involved," he told me in 2005. "They're all really self-effacing. There are no egos, well, not many we're all really keen just to help the thing grow."

The history of the Collective, and Anderson's involvement in it, is somewhat easier to nail down. After spending almost a decade touring with a number of different bands, including the brilliantly-named Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra, Anderson set up a music shop in St Andrews called Fence Records. The business folded, but he decided to hang on to the name, and was soon producing DIY albums with a few like-minded friends living in and around Anstruther.

Things trundled along for a while without the outside world taking much notice, but then veteran collectee James Yorkston signed to Domino, the home of Franz Ferdinand, and from that point on the genie was out of the bottle. Musicians from all over the UK and beyond got in touch with Anderson, asking if they could get involved with Fence, and the London music press began despatching correspondents to Fife to find out what all the fuss was about.

Then KT Tunstall a friend and erstwhile collaborator of Anderson's who had once dated his brother, Een (Pip Dylan) hit the big time with her debut album Eye to the Telescope and started talking about Fence in interviews. Suddenly, most people had heard of the Fence Collective, even if they weren't sure exactly what it was.

Meanwhile, the Fence Homegame an informal music festival featuring Fence acts and their friends, had started to gain cult status. First held in April 2004 in various makeshift venues throughout Anstruther, it has attracted its fair share of controversy over the years. In 2005 it was threatened with closure after a solitary resident complained to the council about noise, and in 2006 it almost had to be cancelled after a suspected bird flu outbreak in nearby Cellardyke.

Traditionally the Homegame has been held in April, but recently Anderson and Lynch toyed with the idea of capitalising on the event's popularity by moving the 2009 shindig to the summer and putting it in a giant marquee. In the end, though, they felt that this would compromise the Homegame's unique atmosphere and make it feel too much like other summer festivals, so this year's event will be business as usual in April, in the pubs and school halls of Anstruther.

This refreshingly anti-commercial decision seems to be symptomatic of the way Anderson is heading these days, away from the glare of the mainstream music business and back to his roots. He's aware that his fans fall very definitely into two camps the old guard, who have been there since the beginning and who prefer his lo-fi, folky incarnation, and those who were introduced to his music via the more polished pop offerings on Bombshell. At this stage, however, he seems more inclined to cater to the former group.

"Are all the people who bought Bombshell going to take Flick the Vs straight down the second-hand shop?" he wonders. "There's a part of me that wants them to do that. That's really stupid, because of course I want more people to like my music, but this is a record I made for myself. I didn't really make it for the Fence lot and I didn't really make it for a label either. It's just a record that I made. It's been a real galvanising project. I'm really happy with it, and now I'm ready to move on to the next thing."

Has he ever considered splitting himself in two, as a way of pleasing both sets of fans?

"Yeah, I'd quite like to start again with something new, something that doesn't have any expectations," he says, "but I'd have to keep it quiet, otherwise it wouldn't work."

King Creosote plays the Fence Homegame, various venues, Anstruther, 17-19 April, Fence Records / Latest News Flick the Vs is out on Domino on 20 April

Acts to seek out at Homegame 2009

NAVIGATING your way around the Fence Homegame can be a tricky business. Plus, Anstruther isn't exactly a sprawling metropolis, but the venues don't always look like venues and chances are you won't have heard of half the acts on the bill. Oh, and there's usually some deliberate ambiguity over the programming, just to keep everybody guessing. The best approach is to treat the Homegame like the Fringe: just wander around town and make your own discoveries. If you're really struggling, though, here are a few must-sees:

HMS Ginafore: The first lady of Fence (pictured) is painfully shy and is rumoured to battle her stagefright with strong drink. When she gets the measures of alcohol and adrenaline just right, though, her live act can be a thing of delicate, otherworldly beauty.

Gummi Bakko: Frontman Alan Stewart's vocal style was once described in this newspaper as "like Yosemite Sam trying to out-holler Screamin' Jay Hawkins". Bakko's anarchic live act at this year's Homegame may or may not include a cameo appearance from King Creosote, way, way out of his comfort zone on drums.

OnTheFly: Living proof that there's a whole lot more to Fence than laid-back alt-folk strumming, this laptop DJ is as free-thinking and experimental as they come.

Pictish Trail: The master of the apparently shambolic (in fact, painstakingly crafted) live set. Recent debut album Secret Soundz Vol 1 a bewitching blend of wistful balladry and glitchy electronica identified him as a real force to be reckoned with.

Eagleowl: Achingly cool soundscapes, with throbbing double-bass at the mix's heart.

Candythief: Forget everything you thought you knew about Candythief. The Homegame stalwart's new album, Technicolour Wilderness, has seen her undergo a deliciously louche, cabaret-style makeover, and she's now backed by a full band, featuring the lovely, skittering violin-work of Jason Dickinson.

The Red Well: If new album Amid Storms We Arrive is anything to go by, this year's appearance from The Red Well should involve much gleeful, unapologetic rocking out.

ROGER COX

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Four stars and Record of the Week in the Sunday Times

King Creosote: Flick the Vs review | CD reviews | Music - Times Online

Finally, a use for the former Beta Band man Steve Masons infamous grumpiness. Mason had offered to produce a track for King Creosotes new album, and when the King himself, Kenny Anderson, first ran through the proposed song, Mason said Is that it? in such an unimpressed and dismissive tone that an embarrassed Anderson hurriedly sang another line or two, made up on the spot, as if to say, What? That? No, I was just clearing my throat. Heres the song. While Anderson was out of the studio, Mason cut-and-pasted these throwaway lines into the songs chorus, and the result was the absolutely gorgeous Coast on By. I would call it the most commercial moment on Flick the Vs, except this album represents Andersons retreat from the major-label scene, back to the cosy world of Domino (well, okay, Dominos pretty big these days, but it used to be cosy), so commercial is probably the last thing on the Kings mind. Freed from such pressures, Anderson takes us on a journey from folk to Krautrock, with songs whose subject matter ranges from cross-dressing and mental illness to vile language and nosy neighbours, all of it delivered in that soul-mending falsetto. Anyone who noted the severe penalties inflicted on the Rangers pair Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor after their recent hand gestures will be relieved that here is an example of a Scotsman flicking the Vs that ends happily for all involved.

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4 Star review in The Skinny

King Creosote - Flick The Vs :: The Skinny

Written by: Milo McLaughlin

Published: Fri 03 Apr 2009

****

Flick The Vs sees a snarl added to Kenny Anderson's dulcet tones, and frequent bad language spells out the fact that he's got a few things to be pissed off about. Proving that he's ever the iconoclast, the album's more experimental nature is seemingly at odds with the more straightforward arrangements of KC Rules OK and Bombshell. It's ironic that first single Coast By Coast, written in collaboration with Steve Mason and ostensibly a rather grumpy declaration of his uneasy retreat to Anstruther following thwarted ambitions in the music biz, becomes perhaps the most perfect pop song in Anderson's canon. Another highlight, Camels Swapped For Wives, goes on to broach the difficult subject of "the effects of mental illness on the whole family" in heartbreakingly honest fashion. Ultimately, each number yields a markedly different style, but paradoxically - because of the high quality in Anderson's songwriting - this makes for the King's most consistent and sublime effort to date.

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Is This Music? review - 4.5/5

is this music? jockrock jralbums long players King Creosote

King Creosote

Flick the Vs (Domino)

By Bryan Jessiman Apr 12th, 2009

Having returned to Domino, after a brief flirtation with a major label, King Creosotes will to confuse and innovate shows no sign of abating. His new album, appropriately titled Flick The Vs, shows a previously unexpected and unexplored love of Krautrock, combined with some of King Creosotes most vitriolic lyrics. The intro to album opener No One Had It Better sounds like a mixture of Can and Sparkys Magic Piano, and continues to confound for the next seven minutes, before closing with the with King Creosote Rules OK repeatedly spelled out.

Second track Two Frocks At A Wedding starts of as a more traditional King Creosote with his distinctive vocals, and a repeated refrain of Youre scaring me now over a rolling bass line. Camels Swapped For Wives starts with a strange rap/drawl before returning to the plaintive crooning that we expect, with lyrics touching upon religion and retribution. Coast On By has been described by fellow Fence artist Pictish Trail as a Dexys Infused Motown Stomp, and is the ideal choice as a first single. Nothing Rings True starts off with just acoustic guitar backing, but with swirling feedback and distorted echo being added into the mix as the song progresses.

Album closer Saw Circular Prowess is the standout track. Muse-style falsetto style singing, combined with piano & guitar backing and containing some of his most colourful language creates an epic end to a very good and very different album.

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Flick the Vs review from The List - 4/5

King Creosote - Flick the Vs | The List

On this first album on Domino Fife legend Kenny Anderson has a whale of a time. Brimming with sonic invention and acerbic one-liners, Flick the Vs shows experimentation and ambition vastly beyond KCs lazy folk tag, from the seven-minute New Order krautrock of opener No One Had It Better to the plaintive ambient lullaby of Fell an Ox. Theres an air of joyousness about the likes of bluegrass-techno romp Rims which belies much of the bleak lyrical content, and the diversity of mood throughout from truly epic to intimate suggests an artist at the peak of his game, and loving it, too.

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Listening to the new album now, and it's affae guid. Makes me more upset I won't be in the 'deen for this :(

Hopefully catch him in Leeds though, I think it depends when I get there though.

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Player Piano had Track of the Day on the Q website. here's a bit about him...

Player Piano - Mad Dog - Track Of The Day - QTheMusic.com

Player Piano - Mad Dog

'Julia, don't go near that boy/ Use a great big caution, use a great big lie' From the opening lines of Mad Dog, the Player Piano sound is familiar but not immediately easy to pin down.

Vocally, former Indiana native (now London-based) Jeremy Radway sounds like a more lazily delivered, more articulate, Julian Casablancas crossed with the baritone depth of John Grant from The Czars.

Instrument-wise by the time the piano flourishes kick in on Mad Dog there's reminders of Ben Folds (Whatever And Ever, Amen period) and vocal harmonies/arrangements that might not sound out of place on an Ed Harcourt album.

All of these references might give you some idea or just serve to confuse, but they do illustrate the mercurial melting pot of Player Piano. As I'm writing this I'm now thinking Beck as well - probably best to just have a listen and decide for yourself...

Into The Dark EP is available to pre-order from May 15 on the Fence Records website. It will be formally released in June 2009.

PLAYER PIANO on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

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