King Creosote

King Creosote’s iron-clad strengths are his songwriting - whimsical and understated - and his voice - fragile and melodic. Amongst the big band set at The Queen’s Hall this evening neither were allowed to shine as often as they wanted to, rusted amongst a soaring indie-rock sound that lost articulation of voice and instrument in favour of big world-crunching noise. It was the classic Arcade Fire pact, which paid off much better at the end of the evening than it did for the majority of the set.

The problem with this approach is that Creosote’s bardic lyrics rely on clarity and subtlety whilst a big rock set relies on energy and movement. The indie rock blurring of the second drowns out the first, replacing it with something more than enjoyable but nowhere near as distinctive as it could be. Creosote and his band also lack the dynamism to embrace the rock sound with an equally lively stage show. There was a lot going on - three guitars, keyboard, two drummers, backing singer and bassist - but it rarely interacted, jumped up and down or darted around. Creosote is a writer, not a raconteur.

Still, there was plenty for the crowd to get stuck into, and many an opening line or chord got a big cheer from familiar punters. ‘On the Night of The Bonfire’ and ‘Not One Bit Ashamed’ were particularly popular. The last half hour, which introduced a violin and cello to the band, was where things really took off, adding the sort of texture the soaring rock sound needed to make it distinctive. They also encouraged the lightness necessary for Creosote to do some material from last year’s Mercury nominated ‘Diamond Mine’.

As the band reached its finale with ‘Happy Song’ and again at the end of the two-song encore with ‘Jump at the Cats’, the populist, springy potential of their rock set was met in entertaining style. But it’s a song from earlier on - ‘I’ll Coast On By’ - that sticks in my head the most. After nearly fifteen years of innovative music-making, I hope King Creosote isn’t about to start doing so.

Reviews by Tom Moyser

Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

The Girl with the Hurricane Hands (and Other Short Tales of Woe)

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood

★★
Traverse Theatre

Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?)

★★★★
theSpace @ Jury's Inn

Droll

★★★★
Summerhall

The Castle Builder

★★★
Summerhall

4D Cinema

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Returning to the Fringe with a full Fence Collective band to showcase the release of new recordings on the Domino label. A collectable set of three 12" vinyl EPs, recorded at Chem19 with Paul Savage at the helm.

Most Popular See More

The Prince of Egypt

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets