Live review: King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Hall Two, The Sage Gateshead

PERFECT SETTING ... King Creosote and Jon Hopkins at The Sage. Pic: Ian West.
PERFECT SETTING ... King Creosote and Jon Hopkins at The Sage. Pic: Ian West.

KENNY Anderson, aka King Creosote, returned to the region for the second time in a couple of months, for a very different show to his last.

Last time out, he treated a packed-out Cluny to an upbeat gig full of singalongs and backed by a rocking band.

This was a very different proposition, performing his Mercury Award-nominated album Diamond Mine, with its co-creator, multi-instrumentalist Jon Hopkins, in full.

For those unlucky enough not to have heard it, it is a thing of rare beauty.

Over seven songs, Anderson spins the story of a small Scottish fishing village and its inhabitants while the Brian Eno-like Hopkins provides a blissed-out soundscape to accompany his gently-strummed guitar.

It is an album to lose yourself in, and live it was no different. King Creosote’s haunting voice drifted in and out, acting as an instrument in itself as well as narrating his poignant story-songs.

Highlights included a stunning John Taylor’s Month Away and Bubble, while album closer Your Young Voice, with just one verse repeated, was almost hypnotic.

With the album done and dusted, the duo played a selection of KC songs, punctuated by the Fife man’s brilliant banter.

They are only playing a handful of shows in support of the album, and credit must go to The Sage for bagging one of them; I can’t imagine a more perfect setting for it.

Support came from Withered Hand – Dan Wilson as he’s known to his family. I first saw him a couple of years ago in Newcastle and fell in love with him, and his album Good News, instantly.

As far as singer-songwriters go, Wilson is up there with the best of them at the moment.

His songs are funny, heartfelt and, above all, catchy. Just check out Religious Songs and No Cigarettes for proof.

With new material out next month, I was surprised he didn’t play anything I hadn’t heard before. But when the songs are as good as they are, he doesn’t really need to.