King Creosote, Emma Pollock
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Though their paths to becoming solo artists differ, both Emma Pollock and Kenny Anderson share a mild discomfort with the responsibilities and attention that goes with being the focus of attention.
While Anderson has his King Creosote alter-ego to hide behind, Pollock is more exposed in such a support slot. Her set is short and consists of the most upbeat songs from her ‘Watch The Fireworks’ album, with Jamie Savage’s piano parts often higher in the mix than Pollock’s perfect voice.
Though the songs draw on a more limited palette than her former band, The Delgados, when the outcome is concise pop songs like ‘Paper and Glue’ and ‘The Acid Test’ it would be improper to complain.
King Creosote’s lengthy history as a live performer makes for an engaging spectacle, and after years of false starts, it appears that he is growing into the idea of being an almost reliable live act.
Like Pollock, there is no problem with his voice which is consistently yearning and soulful, nor the best of his songs, which in recent years he has managed to hone down the quantity into albums as rounded as ‘K.C. Rules O.K.’ and the most recent, ‘Bombshell.’
Tracks from these dominate, as he flits between acoustic guitar and accordion, before unleashing a recently purchased electric guitar for ‘There’s None of That’ and ‘Now Drop Your Bombshell.’ Recent single, ‘You’ve No Clue Do You?’ is the best example of the growth of his songwriting, veering in almost New Order like direction.
Though the chaotic, overwrought encore of The Aliens’ ‘The Happy Song’ harks back to shambolic outings of the past, this show is tangible evidence of Anderson’s work finally receiving the recognition it deserves, but often seemed unlikely to achieve. For both acts, this show seems like a giant leap forward.