Having previously seen this in London’s Barbican, I return to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall for a repeat performance of From Scotland With Love. It’s been over five years since we had seen this last, and on second watching there are certainly sections I feel I missed the first time around but what is more than clear is that us Scots would probably never tire of this particular performance. The stunning Scottish archive film by director Virginia Heath with musical score by King Creosote is such a richly stimulating delve in to our grandmother’s pasts that take us back to tech-free era that many of us look back to with fond memories. Certainly with the live score, there is much to indulge in the sitting, as King Creosote and his nine-piece band perform the complex score.
Promptly starting at 8pm with no support Kenny Anderson (as we all know as King Creosote and a variety of other names) comes on stage with nine others that enrich our evening for the next couple of hours. With “Fence” on the backdrop screen, he introduces all nine members, informing us that he will play host for the first part of the evening to many of these musicians tracks to give a flavour of what Fence is all about. There are some gems within these songs, namely By The Way By The Way, an entirely instrumental building block of a track with much of Lomond Campbell’s lead. The Lengths from his 2017 album Black River Promise is also included in the set.
After an interval, we then got to enjoy what many had paid to see, for this venue was pretty jam-packed with an audience of all ages. The screen behind had the title From Scotland With Love, and there was an eager anticipation for the next hour, with director Virginia Heath and producer Grant Keir sat in the audience. With Pete Harvey on cello, Mairearad Green on bagpipes, Gavin Brown on percussion, Andy Robinson on drums, Hannah Fisher on violin, Lomond Campbell and Sorren Maclean on guitar it was a sheer delight of a gig, with notable performances from Andy, Mairearad and Hannah.
The footage is warmly rich, taking us down a nostalgic trip to holidays on the west coast, with a heavy induction to Scotland’s working class and industrialised past. The music is flawless, having heard this soundtrack in various capacities previous. Always impressed by the flawless timing and ability of the band to avoid stealing the show, as my eyes were glued to the screen throughout with a couple of moments where I drew my attention to the band for stunning performances of My Favourite Girl and Cargill. As aforementioned, I don’t think this audience will ever tire of this gig, as the majority took to the floor for a standing ovation whilst Virginia joined Kenny on stage.