Silent homecoming for guitar-playing Ziggy

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ONE of the most vital aspects of a live performance is the verbal interaction between the crowd and the act on the stage.

A musician may react to a standing ovation at the end of their set with the traditional encore, or run for cover if their music prompts a chorus of boos, and if really bad, a shower of objects.

Yet, King Creosote – the stage name of Anstruther indie singer/songwriter Kenny Anderson – is demanding silence when his four-gig Scottish tour visits Hawick next month, alongside Found, which includes Teri Ziggy Campbell in their line-up.

His live album My Nth Bit of Strange in Umpteen Years is not available online or as a CD, so audience members are invited to bring along a recording device to capture the music. And that demands hush.

Ziggy explains: “I saw Kenny performing the album at Anstruther and it was the weirdest thing. At the start of the gig, Kenny explained what was happening and told everyone not to clap after a song as it would ruin the recordings.

“So there was complete silence between all this amazing music until the end of the gig when the crowd showed their appreciation.

“I think the silence will be the strangest thing for us to deal with when we play with Kenny.”

The idea came about in 2009 as Anderson attempted to react to downward-spiralling record sales, and so far each of the album’s 12 or more performances – always alongside a guest band – have been sold out.

Ziggy added: “Kenny has really strong opinions about what is happening to the music industry. He has had major recording deals and independent recording deals, and this is him trying to think outside the box and say ‘Here is one way of presenting an album’.

“It is not necessarily how I think you should do it, but it is an interesting experiment.”

The gig will be Ziggy’s first in his hometown since he left to study art in Aberdeen at the age of 18.

Now 33 and based in Edinburgh, his band Found picked up a Scottish Album of the Year nomination in April, and have previously won a BAFTA for designing Cybraphon, a robotic wardrobe that plays music depending on its mood. Cybraphon won’t be making an appearance at Heart of Hawick.

Ziggy said: “I am rarely back in Hawick, although my mum and dad and a lot of friends still live there.

“The last time I played in Hawick was with my band called The Ambers. I also used to play around the pubs in the town.

“Fifteen years ago there didn’t seem to be much going on in Hawick music-wise, but I am sure if you are on the ball and were making good music you could make it work while based there.

“I think when you look at Fence Records (owned by Anderson) they are in East Neuk of Fife, which is probably more remote than Hawick.

“But they have based their label there successfully and have even set up a festival which gets people from London and New York attending,” added Ziggy, who flew to China last week with Found and Anderson to play a series of gigs.

King Creosote and Found perform on Friday, November 30. Tickets are priced at £25 and include a limited-edition whisky glass etched with a Hawick logo, a tour teatowel, a King Creosote back catalogue album and free entry to the end-of-tour party. Visit foundtheband.com or phone 01450 360688 for more details.