Friday, 20 January 2017
KC Rules OK
In all the times I've seen King Creosote perform since 2005, no two shows have been remotely similar in repertoire or musical accompaniment. Over the years I've witnessed him play variously as part of a duo, a trio, a four piece, in a Fence Collective supergroup, with Jon Hopkins performing the whole of 'Diamond Mines' and, memorably, there was the occasion when he limped onto the stage on crutches and in a full leg plaster, accompanied only by a djembe player. This past Tuesday evening in Norwich saw KC, bizarrely, in glam-rock mode (glitter, make-up, the works), fronting a seven piece band and showcasing, almost exclusively, songs from his most recent LP proper, 'Astronaut Meets Appleman'. I emphasise proper because in addition to this official release, KC has also been responsible for a flurry of low key, limited edition LP's and CD's over the past 18 months, many of which were available on the merch stand and, frustratingly, none of which I could afford.
Musically, the gig was nigh-on impeccable. 'You Just Want', 7½ minutes on record, was extended to a dramatic 12 minutes, creating an atmospheric opening to the show, while the insistent 'Surface' brought the main set to a similarly intense conclusion. The highlight of the night for me though was a stunning performance of 'Betelgeuse', which knocked the original studio recording into a cocked hat - it really was spellbinding stuff. In fact my only minor quibble with the whole shebang would be the amount of time KC spent chatting to the audience in between each song. Don't get me wrong, his humourous banter has always been an integral and enjoyable part of every KC show I've seen, but on Tuesday it was off the scale. Had he curtailed his waffle just a little, he could have easily played an additional two or three songs.
Only during the encore did King Creosote venture away from 'Astronaut Meets Appleman' material, first delving back to 2014 for an airing of his own 'I'm A Great Believer In Threes', before concluding the evening with a terrific reading of 'Star of Hope', a reprisal of his cameo on Mairearad Green's recent LP, 'Summer Isles'.
For the many or for the few? You decide. Part Chimp - You Decide
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