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The penultimate night of Independent Venue Week (IVW) on Saturday at Sneaky Pete’s saw a stripped-back stage for three solo performers armed only with acoustic guitar and accordion.
The accordion belonged to Anstruther’s biggest export since fish’n’chips, the enigmatic King Creosote, a veteran of 40-plus albums with a brand of wistful folk-pop that has attracted a Mercury Prize nomination and a host of adoring fans.
First up as support is Edinburgh artist Annie Booth, who showcases songs from her recent album, An Unforgiving Light.
These are good tunes revealing a melancholic sound brimming with smart lyrics and gloriously catchy hooks.
Despite Annie’s own description of the wonderful Solitude being yet “another cheery number” the set does include upbeat numbers such as Chasm and Over My, which have the busy crowd bouncing along.
This is a singer finding her voice and it’s one well worth listening to – do yourself a favour and check out the album.
Next on, all the way from Stockton-on-Tees, is Tom Joshua aka Goatboy (blame the hairy t-shirt).
Tom treats the audience to some fine patter fitted around a poignant range of songs and gets a great reaction from an appreciative crowd.
His writings are full of quirky backdrops; a song about his old school bus, a love song to the voice in his head and a song written in a McDonald’s carpark, I Think Your Eyes Look Nice.
There may be songs of sadness – the haunting Meteor Showers and the closing Suckers – but between songs Tom’s engaging manner brings plenty of smiles and laughter and it’s a happy audience who await the main act.
Sneaky Pete’s very own Nick Stewart takes the stage to thank a whooping audience for their support during IVW and to stress the importance of keeping alive the small venues that bring music to the heart of the city.
It is then left to the renowned Vic Galloway to introduce the mighty King Creosote to an audience now packed tight against the stage.
To celebrate Independent Venue Week, the bard of Fife delivers something special and unique.
A collection of songs are merged into a stream of consciousness – a 50-minute uninterrupted flow of music that mesmerises the audience.
This is what live music is all about, delivering the unexpected and creating an experience that cannot be replicated on record.
The flow starts with Leslie from the 2007 album Bombshell and runs seamlessly into Home in a Sentence.
There is no let up and Missionary follows. The heartfelt vocals are caressed by a mellow accordion and the packed crowd are held spellbound.
The songs keep coming – including Space In Jerusalem and Russian Sailors Shirts – until the set closes with So Forlorn and an empathic “I’m done” from the maestro.
At last the jubilant crowd can let out a huge roar of appreciation as King Creosote leaves the stage.
This has been a night to savour and enjoy.
Words: Alan Hotchkiss