Last night I went to the King Creosote and Ruarri Joseph gig at the Carling Academy in Oxford. It was a great night of entertainment.
First to address the new Carling Academy Oxford. This was the first time that I had been back to the venue since the renovations that took place over the summer were completed.
Some people that I’ve spoken to about the new ownership of the club still refuse to call it anything other than The Zodiac. I can understand that, since it had been “The Zodiac” and locally owned for a few years.
It always takes time to adjust to change – especially when a large establishment “takes over” a venue and local bands might be affected by the change. Hopefully there will be plenty of nights that will cater to local bands there, as well as opportunities for them to have support slots for bigger acts that come through.
The show was held upstairs with half the room closed off, which made for an intimate evening of music and entertainment. I’m not sure if it’s always closed off up there now, but either way, there was enough room to move for a Monday night out in Oxford.
Cornish based singer/songwriter Ruarri Joseph opened the night with an acoustic set which included singles, “Patience” and “Blankets” off of his latest album, ‘Tales Of Grime And Grit’ out on Atlantic Records.
Ruarri has a very soulful voice and his stage persona is charming. I enjoyed his banter in between songs and there were a few times when he was singing that I thought of Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). The crowd was receptive – and seemed to enjoy his music, as did I.
King Creosote from Fife, Scotland closed out the night beginning the set with an acoustic number and then the band came on – guitar, drums and bass.
(Read the King Creosote interview!)
I was quite excited to see King Creosote, or Kenny Anderson as he’s known. Maybe the fact that his brother Gordon, who was a founding member of The Beta Band, and is currently in one of my favorite bands The Aliens, had something to do with it. I love musical connections and this is a pretty cool one.
The songs varied from slow ballads to rocking out as a four piece band. The musicians were good – the banter was funny. You could tell they were having a good time. Anderson mentioned he had a late night out on the lash in Oxford the night before and ended up in some hotel room – which would have been an interesting night, I’m sure. The audience laughed quite a bit at his humor and honesty when he mentioned low record sales. He’s certainly not shy and it’s easy to warm to him immediately.
There were times when the music was tinged with an American folk feel – and when Kenny put down his guitar to play the accordion, it added a nice layer to the set.
The closer of the night was – go figure – a cover of The Aliens’ high energy single, “The Happy Song”. I loved it.
King Creosote will be playing a few more gigs in the UK on this tour. Go see them if you can!