With a new album to promote and a self-inflicted dodgy haircut to display to the masses, Kenny Anderson and similarly scruffy friends (not a complaint – made me feel right at home) set out their stall at Rough Trade East for a low-key but entertaining 45 minute set last night. They could have been having a bit of a session in the cosy corner of a pub on some lonely rain-lashed Scottish isle (see the Rough Trade ‘dartboard’ in picture), but the image was spoilt by the sober audience, who remained steadfastly statuesque throughout. No one getting jiggy with it here.

My initial spot up front proved unbearably too close to one speaker, so my distorted impression of the first couple of songs was unrepresentative. I was beginning to feel disappointed at that stage, but a tactical retreat to the back brought its reward. This audio respite allowed a couple of maudlin tunes to hit their mark with a fellow Celt, but the up-tempo folk-rockers You’ve No Clue Do You (the single), Nooks, and especially, Spystick (“She’s one in a dozen / Yet you’ve seen the state of the other eleven”) more than made the event worthwhile. Then just when I was feeling at home with the shy loveliness of it all, along came the title track from Bombshell itself. Anderson is suddenly screaming and strangled wails are being twisted out of an electric guitar. Not sure how that would have gone down with the old timers in the snug, but it was a fresh change of direction here.

I admit ignorance. I had only seen a brief glimpse of King Creosote on the BBC Folk Britannia series and instantly liked what I saw (and the band name). This free event has whetted my appetite for more. I have no idea how many signed albums were shifted after the appearance, but I’m one new convert.

TLOBF’s review of Bombshell can be read here.