brainiacs up in Iceland,’ he laughs.
‘Since 2005, I’ve watched my profile go up, my record sales go down, and my live audiences go down – despite there being more copies of my records on computers. I realised I had to make a stand, and I came up with an album that people won’t have to buy, but will have to hear live to fully appreciate. I’d love for the songs to become popular, and for me to take the show further afield, but because the album will change from one rendition to the next, I’m also hoping to attract the collectors. Plus it’ll test whether copying music for free really does make for larger audiences.’ Anderson’s Fence superintendent Johnny Lynch – alias choral stud The Pictish Trail – raises the bar. ‘What Kenny is doing is really important, because it makes people question what it means to own music.’
While Anderson downplays the suggestion
IT’S A CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY, INTIMACY, EXCLUSIVITY, RARITY AND PHYSICAL ARTEFACT
that My Nth could be widely exploited as a marketing model, Lynch agrees that the future of independent labels lies in similarly imaginative feats. ‘It’s all about ideas, the more outlandish the better. You should encourage interaction, collaboration. Force your audience to pay for your product. We promote most of our own shows [including this month’s Fence Winter Tour, dates below] and often work the cost of a record into the ticket price.’
Creative enterprise notwithstanding, Anderson dreams of legal reform. ‘Ultimately I’d love it if Domino and the few remaining worthy labels put their collective feet down and demanded proper legislation against piracy, or pushed for a copy-proof medium. Pie in the sky, I know.’ Yet here’s a serendipitous coda: we’ll hear more of King Creosote thanks to the digital music era. ‘These new songs are more personal, and there’s lyrical freedom in knowing they’re not going to be pored over [as with a commercial release],’ he concedes. ‘The unexpected thing when we first performed My Nth [he unveiled it to 20 people at last year’s Hallowe’en Homegame], was the heightened concentration in the room. It was very powerful, a very charged atmosphere. No one talked or clapped. A few did cry. I nearly had a greet myself.’
One sublime recording from Hallowe’en is out there, thanks to codename ‘Wirralgirl’. ‘Your ears so full of stolen, compressed tunes,’ KC deplores on the opening track. If you’re happy to dig, you can find it online. Needless to say, it would sound better live.
Fence Winter Tour: The Three Craws (King Creosote, James Yorkston, The Pictish Trail), OLO Worms, The Caves, Edinburgh, Fri 22 Jan; OLO Worms, FOUND, Onthefly, Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Sat 23 Jan. www.fencerecords.com
WIN TICKETS TO HOMEGAME! Anstruther's finest music festival may be sold out, but The List still has one pair of tickets to give away to a lucky competition winner. See competitions on page 70 for info on how to enter.
Johnny Lynch, aka Pictish Trail, co-runs Fence with King Creosote, and was kind enough to exclusively reveal the line-up for Homegame to The List. Pretty awesome it is too
‘Headlining on Friday is one of our finest new signings, François & The Atlas Mountains. Frenchman François is one of the most inventive musicians we’ve come across – fusing sonorous folk-tinged balladry with African percussion. For Homegame he’s bringing a troupe of bizarro-folk musicians from his home town who perform under the name Uncle Jelly Fish.
On the Saturday night, Fence Collectee Jon
Hopkins will headline, performing material from his album Insides. (Jon produced King Creosote’s Bombshell album.) Then we’ve got the incredible Four Tet rounding off Sunday. We’ll also have heart-stopping prog-bliss from
Remember Remember (on Mogwai’s Rock Action label), mesmerising kraut-jams from Rocketnumbernine, sleek, purring pulses from Pantha Du Prince, ghostly noises from Django Django, ankle-spraining electro-buzz from Findo Gask, hushed slow-core hums from eagleowl, cockle-warming strums from Adem, Icelandic oddball plucking from Benni Hemm Hemm, and DJ wizardry from John Maclean (of The Aliens and The Beta Band). We can exclusively reveal that the erotically-mysterious Silver Columns will also play a secret late-night performance, marking their live debut. On top of all this, there’ll be knowing winks from rising starlet Panda Su, and campfire hugs from Ray Rumours (ex-Electrelane), plus joyous jangly-skiffle from The Bluebells! Ken, David and Bobby Bluebell have reformed – and are back to fulfill King Creosote’s teenage dreams.
Of course, Fence favourites are on hand too. The Pictish Trail (ie, me) will perform songs from my 100 Days project, and King Creosote will play his new album SEVEN times over the weekend [see feature, left] as well as collaborating with Meursault and Animal Magic Tricks. If the pub stays open long enough, Kenny and I will team up with James Yorkston for a Three Craws set, and James will do a solo set too. Our sister-city of Bristol is teeming with Fence
talent – so expect sunshiney glowing goodness from Rozi Plain, dubby-psyche nonsense from OLO Worms, and hip hop mastery from DJ Romanhead. Keeping things electronic, OnTheFly and (BAFTA-award winning) FOUND will no doubt get everyone dancing . . . and Little Pebble, Love.Stop.Repeat and HMS Ginafore will lull everyone into a comfortable blanket of sound, before stealing your wallets and spitting in your eye. Gummi Bako, The Wee Baby Jesuses, Withered Hand and Player Piano will be angry they’ve been included so close to the end of this list – but that’ll only fire-up their distorted-rock guts. There’s every chance The Red Well, Pip Dylan and The Lone Pigeon will come out of retirement – but we might have them cleaning toilets instead. Well, someone’s got to do it.’ ■ Homegame, various venues, Anstruther, Fife, Fri 12 – Sun 14 Mar.
21 Jan–4 Feb 2010 THE LIST 25