King Creosote | 01/01/70

Image: King Creosote

Come in! Get your oilskins off. Put your feet up. Help yourself to Earl Grey and a macaroni pie.

Where were we?

Ten years, a hundred, a thousand, from now, people will ask what we learned from the Gaels. And our gorgeous, hyper-cerebral progeny will rejoinder thus: we learned that the 1980s was the greatest decade – just look at Dexy’s, Simple Minds, Talk Talk. We learned that forty-something albums in, King Creosote – KC, Kenny Anderson – was still turning over new ground; still writing surprising, beautiful songs.
We learned that in the year of our monarch 2012, the man rarely known as Anstruther’s Don Juan came forth with a series of pleasing twelve-inches, of which this one that is out on August 27th and can be PRE ORDERED HERE is the second instalment. We learned that KC has a spirit shrub and sometime arch-gorse nemesis in the ancient, enigmatic King Clone Creosote Bush.

The King Clone Creosote Bush has many uses. It has medicinal properties, healing powers. It can aid sexually transmitted diseases; alleviate snakebites; combat pollution.

But it cannot mend hearts. And it cannot break them.

KC can do both of these things.

And he will.


Ankle Shackles

You walk round the corner, or down to the harbour, or onto the hillside, and there they are. And afterwards, your head, your heart, your stomach, lower, are not the same.

But vows have been tethered, knots redoubled, documents filed and fences built. Lives and walls have been reinforced, and nothing good can come of knocking. So you smile, stand close, steal conversations. Thrill at the brush of an elbow. That is all. You can never hold their face. You cannot call their name your own. There will always be unspoken looks, unspeakable thoughts, an ache upon proximity and then upon the lack of it.

Sometimes you wonder, dealing with things, in the darkness and closeness and comfort of solitude, how it is that you have never touched. How it is you coexist as strangers, when you are anything but that.

* * *

The Right Form

We have to move on.

Do you recall our linguistic seminar a propos KC and ‘moistness’ in I Learned from the Gaels? Well, take its memorandum viz dairy-based bawling and ramp it up to hardcore liquor. Imagine it spouting from KC’s eyeballs. Lager, that is. Laced with cherries, I have no doubt. This is the sexiest-ever astral-rock ballad about bureaucracy and paperwork, what with it being the only one.

* * *

What Exactly Have You Done?

The tea-towel has been overlooked as a literary medium for too long. But it was such an instructive cross-stitched dish-cloth, in the Scottish Fisheries Museum, that inspired the fateful talk of spilt sugar, jinxes, and chasing shoals on this party-skiffle naval shindig.
If one were of a superstitious nature, one might be inclined to suggest that the following nautical customs would better suit a carolling rock ‘n’ roll seadog like Anderson: the one about having naked women on board; the one about dousing the ship and all who sail in her with ruby wine; the one that deems swallows to be a good omen.

In unrelated news, King Creosote has recently netted a fishing boat.

And now a moment, if you will, to muse upon KC’s backing rabble. We eyeballed some of them in turn when we spoke of the magnificent Gaels – celestial songbird HMS Ginafore, ivory heartbreaker Richard Young, tweed-core harmonist Vic Galloway and psycho-billy belter Gummi Bako. (This latter Fife playboy, lest we forget, helmed Fence Records with KC when it was but a shop in St Andrews, as bankrolled by the Woollen Mill, and kept in business by a student now known and loved as The Pictish Trail...)

So let us avert our lusty attentions to the rest of KC’s swashbuckling pop crew. Check out marvellous axe-virtuoso Scruff; formidable bass-lothario Uncle Beesley; mythical Forth Valley sticksman OnTheFly; rampant Casio coxcomb Deek Purple; and percussive maharishi Captain Geeko the Dead Aviator – a man whose dexterous way with a djembe is rivalled only by his charm. We must also salute producer Paul Savage, ere of the Delgados, overlord of Chem19, and a genius who is to Scottish Pop what Chic’s Nile Rodgers was to the 1980s.

So come on board, raise the mast, turn it up and let’s set sail. Is this the final crossing of our revolutionary voyage? It might be, darling.


The man himself can be caught (if not pinned down) at these live events: