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LIVE: King Creosote - Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

After his latest record Astronaut Meets Appleman well and truly crash-landed our albums of 2016 compilation a few weeks back, we just had to cap it off with a trip to see King Creosote on the first night of his tour.

The venue is one full of grandeur, with the concert hall at Manchester’s premier sonic educational establishment The Royal Northern College of Music providing an all-seated, rather civilised affair. Although this may not be what you’ve come to expect from a Far Out live review, we had a damn good time all the same.

Fife singer-songwriter Kenny Anderson comes armed with a suitably vast backing band too, with the soft krautrock tinge of the new record performed to with a backdrop of cello, double bass, violin, synth and – on a couple of numbers – accordion.

In fact, as seems to be the case in a growing number of instances at the moment, the main bulk of the set is comprised entirely of Astronaut Meets Appleman – albeit in a slightly different order.

The slow build of ‘You Just Want’ kicks things off, before the more bouncy melody of ‘Wake Up to This’ gives the sold out audience a soaring rendition of the album’s first single.

Anderson is, as ever, almost as incapsulating during his between-song chit-chat as he is when his voice soars to the top of the hall. A charming instrumental sees him step down to the front row and invite an audience member for a slow dance. She gladly accepts.

The most left field moment of the night no doubt comes during ‘Peter Rabbit Teeth’, as the band play while Anderson holds a crackling recording of a babbling baby to mic.

When he brings out the accordion for the first time, the singer also jokes at how performances of the album began with a professional player, but tonight we’re ‘stuck’ with Kenny. The disclaimer of some possible ‘jazz chords’ also draws a laugh from an enchanted audience.

The main set ends with King Creosote’s usual reference to the facade of the traditional encore. Instead, the band members jokingly hide behind their instruments for a few seconds before returning for an epic-sounding encore that explodes into a feast of motorik, culminating in a version of the Mairearad Green song ‘Star of Hope’, which Anderson featured on last year.

It’s been a night for fans of Kenny’s most recent carnation, but the result is a show that is so full of magic and charm you’d be foolish to miss out on the current tour.

Patrick Davies