ARISE KING CREOSOTE.
ARISE KING CREOSOTE.
Ever since the birth of modern music, Scotland has constant and consistently produced talented and innovative musicians. That’s been the case since the days of Donovan, John Martyn and Maggie Bell in the sixties, through to the Average White Band and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band in the seventies. Then in the eighties, Scotland produced The Blue Nile, Lloyd Cole and The Commotions, Love and Money, the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Associates and Aztec Camera. Scottish music enjoying a rich vein of form. This continued into tube nineties, with The Beta Band, Belle and Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub and The Delgados. Each of these artists have, and in some cases, are still releasing albums. However, none of them have released as many albums as Kenny Anderson.
Since 1995, Kenny Anderson has been a one man music making machine. He has released over forty albums under a number of aliases, including the Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra, Khartoum Heroes, Kwaing Creasite and Jokes. That however, is just part of the Kenny Anderson story. Kenny Anderson is also a member of Kid Canaveral, and the Scottish-Canadian folk band The Burns Unit. However, it’s as King Creosote that Kenny Anderson has released the majority of his music.
Quite simply, the King Creosote back-catalogue is a veritable musical feast, fit for a king. There’s plenty of tasty treats awaiting discovery within King Creosote’s back-catalogue. Most of these albums were released on Fence Records, which King Creosote founded in 1995.
By 1995, singer-songwriter Kenny Anderson was twenty-eight, and living in Anstruther, a small fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife. He was a familiar face within the Scottish music scene. For some time, Kenny Anderson had been contemplating founding his own record label. However, this was a big step and not one to be taken lightly.
Eventually, though, Kenny Anderson and Johnny Lynch of The Pictish Tail decided to take the plunge, and founded Fence Records. Most new labels would’ve been based in Glasgow or Edinburgh, where much of Scotland’s music industry was based. However, city life wasn’t for Kenny Anderson. Instead, he decided to base Fence Records in the place he called home Anstruther. Over the next twenty years, Anstruther would become synonymous with its most favourite resident, King Creosote.
By the time Fence Records had been founded, Kenny Anderson had adopted another moniker, King Creosote. Little did Kenny realise that King Creosote would become one of the most profile artists in the history of Scottish music.
Just three years after dawning the King Creosote moniker, Fence Records released its first album, Queen Of Brush Country in 1998. This was the debut album from King Creosote. It was released on CDR, and nowadays, is a much prized collector’s item. So are many of King Creosote’s albums.
This includes the rest of the albums King Creosote released during 1998. This includes Rain Weekend, Inner Crail To Outer Space, Or Is It? and Gink Scootere. By the time 1998 drew to a close, King Creosote had released five albums. He was a truly prolific and inimitable singer-songwriter.
As 1999 dawned, King Creosote continued to release albums with regularity. 1999: An Endless Round Of Balls (Parties and Social Events) was King Creosote first album of 1999. It was followed by Wednesday, Jacques De Fence and I Am 9, Fence Records’ ninth album. Soon, though, nine became ten when King Creosote released Planet Eggz. Just like all the other albums, it showcased King Creosote’s unique and often quirky songs, which were tinged with humour, hooks and social comment. King Creosote had come a long way in just a couple of years.
With the new millennia dawning, King Creosote seemed determined to steal James Brown’s crown as the hardest working man in music. Or Was It? was King Creosote’s first album of 2000. Soon, though, 12 O’Clock On The Dot and Stinks followed. This meant King Creosote had released thirteen albums in just three years. By then, King Creosote was maturing as a singer, songwriter and storyteller. His carefully crafted songs were beginning to find a wider audience.
G was the first album King Creosote released during 2001. It was one of the best albums the Fife-based singer-songwriter had released. King Creosote seemed to draw inspiration from a variety of sources, on what was a captivating album. Soon, though, King Creosote was back with a very different album, Radge Weekend Starts Here. This was followed by King Creosote Says “Buy The Bazouki Hair Oil.” However, King Creosote’s fourth album of 2001, was Disclaimer, which was another of his finest albums. 2001 had been a busy and successful year for King Creosote, having released five album and been busy playing live.
2002 would be just as busy. King Creosote released a limited edition, five disc box, Squeezebox Set. It featured Fair Dubhs, Favourite Girl, Whelk Of Arse, More Afraid Of Plastic and Losing It on the Gyles. These five albums meant that Fence Records had released twenty-two albums since 1998. They had all been released on CDR, but from 2003, things began to change at Fence Records.
For some time, record companies were watching the progress of King Creosote with interest. They were keen to add the singer-songwriter to their roster. Despite this, King Creosote wasn’t willing to turn his back on Fence Records. So Domino Records came up with a solution.
King Creosote’s albums would be released via Fence Records and Domino Records. It was a deal that gave King Creosote the best of both worlds. He was still signed to an independent label, while Domino Records had the financial muscle and expertise to promote and release King Creosote albums in different territories. Soon, King Creosote would be going global.
King Creosote’s albums would be released on CD, LP and as digital downloads in 2003 when Fence Records joined forces with Domino Records. In the short term, Fence Records continued to release albums on CDR.
During 2003, King Creosote released Now (Nearly 36), Psalm Clerk and Ideal Rumpus Room Guide on CDR. However, King Creosote also released Kenny and Beth’s Musakal Boat Rides in 2003. It was the first album to be released by Fence Records and Domino Records. Kenny and Beth’s Musakal Boat Rides was the album that also introduced King Creosote to a much wider audience. This was the start of the rise and rise of King Creosote.
While many artists would’ve concentrated on albums that could be released worldwide, King Creosote released several albums on CDR during 2004. This included Sea Glass, Red On Green, Three Nuns and Kompanion Çet +1 in September 2004. King Creosote also released Loose Tea On His Wynd, a limited edition LP. There was no sign of King Creosote slowing down. It was if he was making up for lost time.
King Creosote had released his debut album in 1998, when he was thirty-one. Since then, he had been averaging four and five albums each year. 2005 was no different. Balloons was released on CDR, and marked the end of an era. No further CDR albums were released. However, King Creosote was just as busy as ever.
Rocket D.I.Y. was released on April 4th 2005, and immediately hailed one of King Creosote’s best albums. When Vintage Quays was released later in 2005, it was the thirty-fourth album that Vintage Quays King Creosote had released. That number soon rose to thirty-five when KC Rules OK was released on September 19th 2005. It featured songs penned between 1999 and 2003. These songs captured the hearts and minds of critic and record buyers, and would soon be regarded as one of the finest albums in King Creosote’s back-catalogue.
2011 was another busy year for King Creosote. He released his solo album Thrawn, and then collaborated with Jon Hopkins on the album Diamond Mine . It was released in 2011, and was later nominated for the Mercury Prize. This played a part in King Creosote’s music reaching a much wider audience.
This just happened to coincide with King Creosote hitting a rich vein of form. On April the 21st 2013 King Creosote returned with a rerecorded version of one of the hidden gems in his back-catalogue, That Might Well Be It, Darling, It was originally an acoustic album, but King Creosote decided to rerecord the album with a full band.
King Creosote spent six months working with producer Paul Savage at the Chem 19 studio, in Blantyre. Critics believed that this was time well spent. The newly rerecorded version of That Might Well Be It, Darling ,many critics felt, was the best album of King Creosote’s fifteen year recording career. However, wasn’t the only album King Creosote released during 2013.
Later in 2013, King Creosote released the album Sure and Steadfast. It was album that King Creosote had released to raise funds for the Scottish Fisheries Museum, in his home village of Anstruther. Despite being one of Scotland’s top recording artists, King Creosote hadn’t forgotten his roots.
From Scotland With Love.
Further proof of this came in 2014, when King Creosote released From Scotland With Love, which was the soundtrack to a documentary feature film directed by Virginia Heath. The film was commissioned as part of the Cultural Festival, which accompanied the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. King Creosote seemed to have embraced the From Scotland With Love project, and had written and recorded some of the best songs of his career. Critical acclaim accompanied the release of From Scotland With Love, which was heard by a global audience during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
During the Commonwealth Games, a screening of From Scotland With Love took place on Glasgow Green, with King Creosote playing live. That night, an audience from the four corners of the globe were captivated and spellbound by King Creosote’s music. It was a far cry from the days when he was Scottish music’s best kept secret.
Despite releasing the most successful album of their career, King Creosote returned with another limited edition, vinyl release on Fence Records. 3 On This Island was released later in 2014, It may not have been as high profile a release as From Scotland With Love, but it featured nine carefully crafted songs. So did the followup, Småvulgär.
It was released in 2015, on Fence Records. Just like 3 On This Island, Småvulgär featured carefully crafted song which showcased the considerable talents of the truly talented trio. However, their next album, Astronaut Meets Appleman would see King Creosote return to the global stage.
Astronaut Meets Appleman.
Having just released one album, it wasn’t long before King Creosote began work on his next album. For the new album, King Creosote wrote ten new songs. They would become Astronaut Meets Appleman, the forty-sixth album from the uber prolific King Creosote. Recording of Astronaut Meets Appleman, King Creosote took place at various studios across Scotland.
Recording of the latest addition to the King Creosote songbook, Astronaut Meets Appleman took place between July 2015 and February. The sessions began at Analogue Catalogue in July 2015. Then the band headed to Gordon McLean’s at An Tobar, where recording took place between September and October 2015. To complete Astronaut Meets Appleman, King Creosote hooked up with an old friend, at Paul Savage at Chem 19 studios.
Paul Savage was no stranger to King Creosote, and had worked with them several times at Chem 19, on some of their best and most successful albums. This was no surprise. The producer and former Delgado drummer, was now one of the most experienced Scottish producers. He was sure to bring out the best in King Creosote, who made their way to the Blantyre studios.
When King Creosote arrived at At Chem 19, Kenny Anderson brought with him his trusty acoustic guitar, accordion, xylophone and synths. He would also play piano and add vocals. Joining Kenny Anderson, were the other members of King Creosote, drummer Andy Robinson and keyboardist, pianist and bassist Derek O’Neill. They were joined by some of their musical friends. Producer Paul Savage added drums and the sound of a ‘wind turbine; on Melin Wynt. Eventually, after seven months of recording at three different locations, Astronaut Meets Appleman was complete. Now it was ready for release.
Astronaut Meets Appleman was one of the most-anticipated albums of King Creosote’s twenty-one year career. Especially, as it became known that Astronaut Meets Appleman was one of the most eclectic albums of King Creosote’s career. The release of Astronaut Meets Appleman was eagerly awaited, as critics and record buyers awaited discovery of the delights within King Creosote’s latest musical feast.
That’s no exaggeration. Astronaut Meets Appleman which is King Creosote’s forty-sixth album, is without doubt, one of the best albums of a twenty-one year career. During that period, the chameleon-like King Creosote have become one Scotland’s top bands. Anyone wondering why, just need listen to albums like From Scotland With Love and Astronaut Meets Appleman.
They’re among the most accomplished and eclectic albums of King Creosote’s long and illustrious career. He’s now one of the elder statesmen of Scottish music. No two albums are the same. They can feature everything from folk, indie rock, perfect pop and psychedelia. Similarly, King Creosote albums can feature balladry, paeans, rockers and hook-laden anthems. King Creosote are equally happy delivering ballads, as they’re heading into anthem territory. That’s no surprise. Kenny Anderson is a talented singer-songwrter who can breath life, meaning and emotion in his lyrics. That’s the case on ballads and hook-laden and rocky anthems. He’s Mr. Versatile. However, King Creosote isn’t a one man band.
Far from it. Drummer Andy Robinson and Derek O’Neill who played keyboards, piano and bass both play vital roles in the success of the King Creosote story. Especially on recent additions to King Creosote’s burgeoning back-catalogue. It now numbers forty-six albums. However, for a newcomer whose yet to discover the delights of King Creosote, where do they start in this glorious, veritable musical feast? A good starting point is From Scotland To Love and Astronaut Meets Appleman, which are a tantalising taste of the inimitable King Creosote. These albums have introduced Scotland’s musical king to a much wider audience. It’s taken twenty-one years and over forty-six albums. However, at least, Scotland’s musical king are belatedly receiving the critical acclaim and recognition that their music so richly deserves. Arise King Creosote
ARISE KING CREOSOTE.