AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #326: KING CREOSOTE

A GUEST POSTING by CHARITY CHIC

KC Elgol

K.C Rules OK

I find it hard to believe that in the long and eclectic list of ICAs that no-one has offered up one by the great King Creosote.

From a traditional Scottish country dance band background East Neuk of Fife resident Kenny Anderson has had a prolific career recording under the nom de plume King Creosote.

He started the now legendary Fence label in 1998 initially to release his own music burnt onto CDRs (anyone remember them?)

This led to the Fence Movement where he was joined by and released music from the likes of The Beta Band and James Yorkston.

For more information and a terrific read can I recommend Vic Galloway‘s book the brilliantly titled Songs in the Key of Fife – The Intertwining stories of The Beta Band, King Creosote, KT Tunstall,James Yorkston and the Fence Collective.

All of this was sadly before he first crossed my radar. It would be approximately 10 years later before I began to pick up his releases and looked to acquire stuff from his back catalogue. If anyone has stuff from his early Fence years, a follow up ICA would be very welcome.

After that rather lengthy preamble, let’s get to the music selections.

Side 1

Something to Believe In – from the album From Scotland with Love on Domino, 2014

KC (as I will use from now on in) was commissioned to write the music to accompany the documentary of the same name directed by Virginia Heath which was commissioned as part of the cultural festival accompanying the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It quickly became his best selling album to date and on a number of occasions it has been played live in its entirety. I saw it performed in a very eerie Royal Concert Hall on 12th March a couple of days before lockdown in 2020.

Sometime to Believe In is the opening track full of hope and optimism. I posted it on the day of the 2014 Scottish Referendum.

Not One Bit Ashamed – from KC Rules OK on Names/679 , 2006

I think that this may well have been the first of his records that I bought (cheaply from Fopp). Again the opening track and again another statement of intent.

A Month of Firsts – from Rocket D.I.Y on Fence 2005

The only thing I have of his on Fence, albeit it was a charity shop acquisition from Spring 2021. I can’t remember where, and have since started to keep a note of where I buy them. This one was certainly a bit of a find.

There’s None of That – from Bombshell on Names/679 , 2007

My first charity find from the great man from BRICC in Ballantrae.

The Guardian did a track by track review saying of this track

0.25 Back to sweetness now, with a lovely finger-picky guitar line. “You know when hands touch/And there’s that spark of electrical something or other?” I do! What a softie.

0.28 “Well, there’s none of that.” The devil!

Bats in the Attic – from Diamond Mine (EP), Domino 2011

Bats in the Attic was an EP with KC accompanied by electronica musician Jon Hopkins with JH’s field recordings accompanying KC’s songs inspired by the East Neuk of Fife. A Mercury Prize nomination, it was the first I bought when it came out.

Side 2

You Just Want from Astronaut Meets Appleman , Domino 2016

His first record since From Scotland with Love and as far as I am aware his most recent new release. He is certainly less prolific than he was in his early years. An album I find a bit patchy with this, the opening track, being the pick of the bunch.

Leaf Piece – from From Scotland with Love

I could have chosen anything from the album for its second contribution, as they are all of a very high standard. I went for this one primarily because in contains the lines

For now my tongue is held

And my wheesht is haud

If you know, you know

You’ve No Clue Do You – from Bombshell

“the new single – and what a chug-along monster it is, full of crunchy drums, deft puns, and some nice Cluedo banter “ The Guardian

My Favourite Girl – from KC Rules OK

The second offering from KC Rules OK narrowly pushing out Marguerita Red

A lovely song for his daughter. The Earlies provide musical accompaniment

Nothing Compares to You

The only non album track.  Better than Prince‘s original, but is it better than Sinead O’Connor‘s version?

The jury is out

Charity Chic

12 thoughts on “AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #326: KING CREOSOTE

  1. I knew the name but had never heard the tunes until some years back, I stumbled upon this blog. I have been very grateful ever since.

  2. King Creosote Rules OK. Was there ever a more accurate album name?

    One of only a few bands that bring my partner and I’s musical tastes together.

    If you put the music to one side (just for the briefest of moments) it’s the vocal harmonies that often lift me highest. That’s not to suggest the music doesn’t lift me, far from it.

    Seeing the band live for the last time – all those years ago – at Oran Mor was a sad affair.

    As Glasgow’s finest musos bustled in – they were intent on being seen and heard. They often drowned out the sound from the stage with their ego inflating, obnoxious stories. These are the types of people known from other well known bands who allegedly ‘love’ live music. Pah!

    It marks one of the worst audiences it has ever been my shame to be part of. And the beginning of an end to live music for me.

    I would urge any and everyone to have a listen. There are some ‘belters’ within this ICA and many more to discover.

  3. Since you have been on a bit of a Bluebells kick I thought you might include KC’s somber cover of Cath. I’m really looking forward to digging into this one. Thanks, CC.

  4. Brian – never thought about it
    This ICA has been in the making before his version came out!
    Plus although I have the flexidisc I have been unable to copy it digitally

  5. Good stuff, CC. I’d heard the name but not the music. I really like how KC gives the songs room to breathe and develop. A lovely, unrushed approach.

  6. When we were being noisy kids, my Glaswegian dad used to yell “haud yer wheesht” at us. Not being from those parts, we would respond “Yer wot?” Nice to see it feature in a contemporary lyric.

  7. Any of the versions of 678 (Disclaimer, Rules OK or From Scotland) would have been a worthy addition too.

  8. Good stuff, CC. That should keep me going for a while. Though I’m past the age where I want anyone to haud my wheesht.

  9. I should be more familiar with KC than I am, this looks like a good starting point to properly acquaint myself. Good work CC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.