The Cobden Club, London, 25 April 2006
The Cobden Club is a secretive hideaway in the midst of
the concrete sprawl and imposing tower blocks of west London.
The gothic opulence and eccentricity of the private members'
club with its vast mirrors and glitterballs is an attractive
and pleasant surprise. Tonight's entertainment, provided
by Scottish multi-instrumentalist and Fence Records owner
King Creosote, could also be described as attractive and
pleasant, if not wholly surprising.
real name Kenny Anderson, begins his set gently, playing
a couple of solo acoustic numbers and singing about the
"most beautiful mistake of the year". It is all
very honest and earnest with an edge of humour that keeps
it afloat. A four piece band then take to the stage to lend
their backing to Anderson's soft burr as he sings a homage
to beauty that is far more genuine in its delivery than
James Blunt could ever muster. He follows
this with Marguerita Red, an offering from last year's KC
Rules OK long player that proves to be gorgeous, touching
spite of describing one track as "perfect for shouting
your orders at the bar to", the devoted audience are
respectful throughout with little talking during songs and
enthusiastic appreciation shown between them. This may be
partly down to the refined surroundings or just due to the
calm warmth of the music. Even the fan who keeps shouting
"Kenneth!" between songs is engaged with confusedly
by the friendly Scotsman.
uptempo ditty featuring a stunning cello freak-out is one
of the exceptions to the charmingly melancholic rule and
the overall calm is refreshing during these times where
shouty indie bands are seemingly everywhere you turn. Anderson
then swaps guitar for accordion to play a truly tender ballad
which may be verging on soppy but is heartwarming all the
same. There is such an overwhelming sentiment to the music
which perhaps explains the fervent support King Creosote
receives, with people feeling that they have a personal
connection with the man on stage tugging at their heart
is a danger at times that, though delivered with good humour,
such closeness can prove too overbearing so the carefree
abandon of the final duo of songs comes as a welcome relief.
Catchy and bright, light and happy in tone and with an uplifting
organ solo thrown in for good measure, they provide an ecstatic
finale which provokes a rapturous response. Calls for an
encore are granted and Anderson returns to muted melancholy,
playing an acoustic version of the ironically restrained
I'll Fly By The Seat Of My Pants. It proves a temporary
lull as he invites his band and various other friends, including
679 labelmate M Craft, to the stage for
a celebratory mass rendition of Homeboy to end.
is a rousing finale yet overall Anderson's music could do
with a little more life and verve. Having said that the
intimacy of his music suits the intimacy of the venue perfectly.
Like the Cobden Club you suspect that while it may not be
for the rowdy masses, King Creosote's music will remain
a closely guarded secret to be clutched closely to the hearts
of his fans, and a joy for outsiders to catch a glimpse
- Ian Roullier, 04/2006