ST ANDREWS singer songwriter Kenny Anderson has been nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize for his recent album ‘Diamond Mine’ in collaboration with Jon Hopkins.
Anderson, who records under the name King Creosote, is a prolific singer-songwriter and the driving force behind the highly respected Fence Collective based in Cellardyke.
He told the Citizen this week that he hopes being shortlisted for such a high profile prize will highlight the quality of music being produced by musicians across the independent music sector.
The album came about when Hopkins, a big fan of the Fence Collective, began selecting tracks from the huge King Creosote back catalogue and started adding some of his own melodies and instrumentation.
After many delays, it was eventually finished earlier this year when the pair finally found the time to set aside their other commitments and concentrate on putting an album worth of songs together.
‘Diamond Mine’ will now go up against industry heavyweights such as Adele’s latest album 21 which has sold more than two and a half million copies.
“It’s all quite unexpected and I’m very pleased,” he told the Citizen this week.
“It looks like we are maybe the kind of obscure act that makes it onto the list - the real outsiders.
“But this gives the album a real boost and we get to play at the award ceremony as well so it really widens the normal catchment area for the record.
“Good music has to be supported and it can be a bit of a struggle these days with hardly any record shops about and a mass of songs all over the internet.”
With the music industry still coming to terms with the full impact of downloading and MP3s, most performers and small record labels are always looking for new ways to promote their music and attract new fans.
It’s a situation Anderson knows well.
He added: “From the point of view of Fence Records it feels like it’s about time something like this happened because there is a lot of good music coming out of there.
“Most people at the smaller end of the industry are struggling.
“Records don’t cost a lot to make but it does to promote them and that’s what record labels used to do but not any more.
“But now we are on a list with Adele and I don’t think many of her fans would normally have got to hear about us.
“We have already picked up a few extra sales and the feedback we are getting is people are wondering how they had never heard of us before.”
Local music promoter Chloe Milne said she was delighted to hear that ‘Diamond Mine’ was gaining some recognition.
“I am so pleased for Kenny and Jon and it should be good for the area in terms of helping to publicise the music that is being created here,” she said.
“Fence Records have been championing homegrown talent for years now, and they are a true success story in terms of being able to make a living from music where you are. You don’t need to be in London.
Chloe added: “I hope people start to take notice of what we have going on here, and I also hope that locals will start to notice the great music happening right on their doorstep.
“It doesn’t need to be a trip across to Edinburgh or Glasgow to see some quality music, just stay home and see what the locals can do!”
King Creosote will be playing at Haarfest in Anstruther which runs from August 16 to 21.
n Further details and tickets are available from www.fencerecords.com