Since it was announced that Edinburgh International Festival would be returning to the grand but long-neglected Leith Theatre with their Light on the Shore contemporary concert series, anticipation levels have been high.
King Creosote, Leith Theatre (****)
King Creosote – aka Mercury-nominated Anstruther troubadour Kenny Anderson – and his band were a perfect choice to open the show, a much-loved and respected Scottish artist whose folk-based sound is distinctive but universal. Playing acoustic guitar, and surrounded by a five-piece band including cello, violin and keyboard, he didn’t quite play the hits, instead apparently choosing his set on the basis of mood rather than expectation.
There were run-outs for One Night Only and Largs from his From Scotland with Love soundtrack, a key album of his, and more reserved standards of his discography including Not One Bit Ashamed and Cargill; the closing track also bore a borderline mournful chorus of Paul Young’s Come Back and Stay.
This was largely the reserved side of Anderson’s sometimes boisterous muse, a gentle show to help ease this theatre back into long-awaited full service.