June 18, 2010

KING CREOSOTE
Oran Mor, Glasgow, June 16 * * *

Kenny Anderson, better known as King Creosote, is undoubtedly Scotland’s, if not the UK’s, most prolific singer-songwriter. According to Wikipedia the Fifer has recorded over 40 albums in 12 years, the most recent of which – Flick The Vs – was released last year through Domino and Anderson’s own label Fence Records.
Appearing as part of the West End Festival, the infinitely affable Anderson was playing, as he put it, to “500 close friends” at Oran Mor tonight. There was certainly a very relaxed vibe to proceedings throughout his curfew-bursting set.
Making a connection with an audience comes easily to Anderson. Comfortable on stage, smiling broadly for much of this performance, a big part of the King Creosote appeal comes from the rapport he so effortlessly strikes up with a crowd and tonight was no different.
Musically there’s no doubting Anderson’s song-writing ability. Simple guitar, confessional lyrics and subtle, emotive melodies made songs like Jump At The Cats, Something Beginning With D and Nooks particularly potent.
However over-running to cram in more songs, including a couple of with Admiral Fallow and The Pictish Trail, did seem like overkill – little wonder then that the crowd’s attention audibly wandered at times.

TAYLOR HAWKINS & THE COATTAIL RIDERS
Stereo, Glasgow, June 9 * *

Trying to follow his boss Dave Grohl’s example by getting out from behind his kit to try his hand at being a frontman was always going to be a tricky proposition for Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Few have succeeded making the leap from the back to the front of the stage.
At least he didn’t strap on a guitar, instead the diminutive drummer was centre stage perched behind his kit pounding out relentless beats and singing as if his life depended on it.
Playing tracks from latest album Red Light Fever, Hawkins’ song writing skills were called into question almost immediately with the first few numbers Not Bad Luck, Louise and Hole In My Shoe feeling particularly dated and uninspired.
The quartet’s cause was further hampered by overly complicated arrangements full of uneasy tempo changes and bouts of endurance-testing drums.
It’s maybe no big surprise that Hawkins’ energetic drumming dominated proceedings. For much of the set it all but obliterated his vocals, but given the quality of his voice it was ultimately no great loss.