Gig preview: King Creosote, Dalkeith Arts Centre

Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote
Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote
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Who better to ask to re-open your local town’s arts centre than Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote?

The Fife Fence Collective chief is well known for playing venue-centric gigs in British Legions, rugby clubs and wee town halls, so once the ceremonial ribbon has been symbolically snipped at the newly spruced up Dalkeith Arts Centre, the alt-folk songwriter will be taking care of business.

Nominated for the Mercury Music Prize last year, Anderson is one of the most prolific musicians around.

His label’s Home Game event is a widely respected, if, slightly insular annual gathering at the pretty seaside town of Anstruther, and while he’s fawned over by certain sections within the music press, Anderson is yet to make the sort of mainstream breakthrough like fellow Fifer KT Tunstall has.

Not that he cares much.

Now in his mid-40s, he does things on his own terms – and it’s for this very reason the former engineering student has made a success of himself.

“Although I loved living in Edinburgh, I found the whole university experience really dull,” says Anderson. “It pushed me towards writing songs rather than towards electrical engineering.

“My dislike for it made me do a U-turn. I didn’t really think I would end up in a band, I just thought it would be a hobby.

“It wasn’t until I was in a busking band that I realised there was real fun to be had and that you could actually take a direction in music that was not necessarily the most obvious,” he adds, “like getting a recording deal and playing on Top of the Pops.”

With more than 40 releases under his bushy beard, it’s clear that recording is something of a big love for Anderson.

“If someone said, ‘You can either play live and never record or you can record and never play live,’ I would choose recording,” he says.

“When it’s live, I can only sing and play one thing at a time. I love putting songs together. That’s the fun part of being a musician.”

Another band whose gigs are venue-centric is Edinburgh’s very own Bwani Junction.

The talented youngsters are the only band to have played live on top of the Forth Rail Bridge. In July, the boys ascended 350 feet to a scaffold platform at the summit of the structure’s north cantilever, where they treated a select audience to a performance of their appropriately-named single, Two Bridges, as well as rain-soaked acoustic renditions of Civil War and Roots Too Deep - and the indie quartet will be in Midlothian a few ofdays before Creosote, on Saturday.

All bodes well, then, as Dalkeith aims to attract more and more higher-profile bands to the area.

Others may prefer to stick closer to the city, but in Anderson, there’s a man happy to take his music anywhere that it will be appreciated. Enjoy.

• King Creosote, Dalkeith Arts Centre, White Hart Street, Dalkeith, next Wednesday, 8pm, £10, 0131-663 6986