As the latecomers shuffled in to take their seats for the 9pm sharp start in Vicar Street, the noise they provided perfectly replicated the background café sounds found on ‘First Watch’, the opener from Diamond Mine. A simple stage set up had King Creosote (Kenny Anderson) with guitar in hand and Jon Hopkins perched behind harmonium and grand piano – all was set up for an intimate evening.
Leading with many of the current album tracks, the wonderful ‘John Taylor’s Month Away’ evoked the lonely Scottish seas while ‘Bats In The Attic’ and ‘Bubble’ settled the evening in nicely. Given much of the audience had no doubt played the album exhaustively, hearing these songs live felt like we were welcoming back old friends.
Indeed, as the evening progressed, the less familiar material from King Creosote’s extensive back catalogue was arguably more enjoyable. Add to that excellent cover versions of U2’s ‘Running To Stand Still’ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’ and the connection between audience and performers was getting warmer by the minute.
Anderson’s vocals were haunting, complimented by Hopkins’ effortless
accompaniment. Anderson in particular is a real musician – one who knows the price you’ve paid for your ticket and, although unassuming, is nonetheless disarmingly entertaining.
The night ended with a magnificent version of Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’, leaving what felt like a privileged few thoroughly contented. From brief conversations with the performers afterwards over drinks and chips (see below), they seemed to really enjoy it too.