18th August | Thekla

Fife’s finest, King Creosote, delighted and charmed the packed crowd at Thekla on Saturday with his unique folk-pop style of music and thought-provoking lyrics; the instantly mesmerising feeling that went around the room as he struck up his first chords could be felt long after he moved onto other tracks.

This singer-songwriter, real name Kenny Anderson, has a gathered a very loyal following through haunting lyrics like, “When you need someone to cry on in the depths of despair, I shall be elsewhere,” occurring in his famous song ‘You Just Want.’ That wonderfully impactful song wasn’t the only track he performed at this Bristol gig from his well-respected 2016 album, Astronaut Meets Appleman; he also belted out ‘Wake Up To This’ and ‘Betelgeuse’.

The poetry that this man writes is so deep and emotional, you can’t help but get sucked in from the start, and having released over forty albums, it was hard to know what songs he would pick out to perform. We were all glad he chose to sing ‘Bats in the Attic’ though (which featured on his 2011 Mercury-nominated collaboration, Diamond Mine with Jon Hopkins). The nods of approval around the room when that tune started up were evident and plentiful.

This true Scottish gem of an artist is a man of many hats. He doesn’t just perform as King Creosote these days – he’s also a member of the Scottish-Canadian band called The Burns Unit (not forgetting that he has also been a part-time member of Magnetophone and U.N.P.O.C.). Basically, it’s fair to say that he never stops and probably never will because his music, which wonderfully suits the live environment, seems to bring a light to his eyes and a fire to his soul. He was clearly born to do this, and seems to never stop adding live dates to his list of things to do. We’re 100% thankful that he does this.

Fresh from the Purbeck Valley Folk Festival the night before, he still seemed as polished as ever and the hush he put upon the Thekla crowd was amazing to witness and feel. King Creosote is obviously and evidently respected, far beyond a Mercury Prize nomination, and his music transcends a vast age range, judging by the mixed group of people who attended this Thekla show.

As his set eventually came to an end, every person in the audience looked pleasantly satisfied with what they had heard. Being made up of Bristolians as well as people who had travelled a lot further, the crowd seemed to appreciate everything that this inspirational vocalist who makes a living out of wearing his heart on his sleeve had to offer.