From Scotland With Love by King Creosote


I tend to be very impatient. If I’m bored, I’m very quick to switch off. This has become more of a problem recently in many ways. One manifestation of this is when watching a TV programme, my attention can wander and I reach for my phone, read an email, send a message, look at the weather forecast, look at The Guardian news, check Brighton’s position in The premiership and all of a sudden I’m asking Roo what just happened.

I can get too quickly bored in conversations with friends which means that I can often interject with an abrupt change of conversation. My impatience means that I seem to be incapable of listening to the radio or a podcast unless I am doing something else – normally walking Bruno round The Friars Oak Fields. I also appear to be incapable of reading a book when sitting in a room with other distractions – especially a TV. I can read a book in bed, in the bath or the garden but nowhere else.

The Covid-19 pandemic is really really grinding me down and what is worse is that we are all now having to make our minds up about what is safe to do. Friends have started going into pubs and I’m not sure. Hopefully, Dave and I can book a table in the garden of “The Hassocks” for Sunday afternoon which will be a tentative step forward. On one hand I’m scared because I don’t want to catch the virus and on the other hand I realise that my unhappiness can be partly cured by socialisation.

There could be a danger that my impatience causes me to make a big change which I will later regret. Roo and I are seriously considering moving to Scotland. Why not? I can’t see that this virus is ever going to go away so why not move to a beautiful area and a larger house with great walks, sea views and a better political climate. As long as I can get a plane to Gatwick every month and spend quality time with my friends, I can maintain contact via Zoom calls, and emails. Of course, spending more time away from Roo when she has fallen over twice in the past week may not make much sense so it’s probably a stupid idea but there’s a part of me that thinks that making a significant change would be energising. There are Samaritans branches in Glasgow and Kilmarnock. If we got a big enough house we could invite more than one person at a time to stay which is something that we are not able to do very easily at the moment. Is this a good idea or is it simply impatience at the restrictions caused by Covid-19? It’s so hard to get a balanced point of view.

The political considerations are not negligible. It’s not nice living in a country where the majority vote for Boris Johnson and BREXIT. Relying on common sense is a problem when sense isn’t that common. On the other hand, watching football and cricket, playing snooker, going to gigs, easily meeting up with friends, drinking Harvey’s in the brilliant Brighton pubs – these are all things that I treasure. Will the chance to do these things ever return?

In 2014, the Commonwealth Games were held in Glasgow. A New Zealand born but UK based film maker called Virginia Heath was commissioned to make a film featuring archive Scottish footage to accompany the Games. The film is called “From Scotland With Love” and she persuaded Kenny Anderson to compose the musical accompaniment. The film is 75 minutes long and consists entirely of film material from the National Library of Scotland and Scottish Screen Archive. There is no narration – simply the music from this album. Kenny Anderson said about the film, “It’s basically just looking at ourselves in the past – it’s like looking at your grandparents’ or your great grandparents’ generation goofing about, just doing what they’re doing. But you have to remember that it wasn’t the past for them – they were right at the cutting edge of time like we are now.”

Kenny Anderson is a Scottish musician, who calls himself King Creosote. I can’t find any reason why. His brother, Gordon Anderson, goes by the name Lone Pigeon. Another brother, Ian Anderson, calls himself Pip Dylan. Strange but true. Peter and I went to see King Creosote at The Komedia a few years ago. He was good. He has released 49 albums in the past 22 years. I have 3 of them. They’re good with some standout songs.

The style of the music is interesting. It’s folk music. Maybe not folk, maybe more folk-rock. Hang on – I can’t write the same thing every time. Let’s consider the opening song “Something To Believe In”. It starts with an unaccompanied accordion while the film shows a murky Glasgow from, presumably about eighty years ago with a couple of buses and a taxi driving down an otherwise deserted main street. Black and white. Pigeons fly above the city sequencing into an aerial view of bridges over the Clyde. Kenny Anderson sings, in his emotional but not note perfect voice “Dreaming without sleeping. It’s morning are you leaving? But our story it has only begun. And are you willing it to end?“. More fantastic footage includes a woman looking down on the railways below her house from an open window of her house where a kettle is boiling in her small kitchen. As he continues to sing “you promised me a feeling” over and over, there’s more footage of people walking to work.

“Something To Believe In”

There’s a much more up tempo song called “For One Night Only”. Kenny Anderson said “It was originally called “Fighting and Shagging”. I found that one really hard to write. I knew we needed this upbeat, going-out song, but I can’t do that. I’m sure people go out a lot more now than they used to. Even my gran’s generation, they’d have a sherry at New Year and that would be it. So I was thinking, big nights out must have been few and far between, and when you did go out, there would be no holding back. If your drunk character – because everyone’s got one – could only come out once a year, it would be hugely exaggerated.” It’s very poppy and the film footage of people having a great night out, presumably in Glasgow at various times over the last eighty years, is joyful.

“For One Night Only”

So, Scotland – here we come!

Moving to Scotland? You must be joking!

Published by wilfulsprinter

Music lover

2 thoughts on “From Scotland With Love by King Creosote

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