King Creosote - Why I love Halloween

The Mercury Prize nominee on how Halloween has become a fixture in the Fence calendar

In order to become a proper record label, the three of us working out of Fence HQ in the early days of the new millennium – Gummi Al, Johnny Pictish and myself, KC – decided we ought to adopt a few standard office practices. The first was to rent a PO box for our mail orders, the second to invent a name we could all guise under in times of grief, and the third was to mimic our new pals at Domino Records and to have ourselves a proper end-of-year office party.

We rented PO box number 14261 in Anstruther and were pleased to see we’d landed only one click away from the Pagan Federation’s PO box. Bob Agnews became our nom-de-plume for those awkward label tasks such as rejecting demos and dealing with pushy people, but do you think our new label staff of four could settle on a date for our office party?

See, Johnny Pictish liked to go home to Connecticut after his last gig, and Gummi Al hankered after Ayr, so the traditional Christmas party for Bob and I looked fairly bleak.

We took a look instead at what Halloween had to offer – turnip lanterns, witches, dookin’ for apples and treacle scones – and we each saw the candle light flare up behind the triangular eyes in our wee turnip heids. All things considered, Halloween would make the perfect end for the Fence calendar. We could just stop CDR production, keep any Picket Fence releases back until the end of February, and use the last two months of the year to make our plans for Fife domination, having taken dozens of pounds for subscriptions/Christmas presents.

On Halloween 2003 Johnny Pictish and I hurried home from a fairly disastrous tour promoting Kenny & Beth’s Musakal Boat Rides in order to attend our first end-of-Fence-year celebration. Harry Axewound and The Ghoulies, a new Fence collective horror show, was to headline a three-band bill in the Ship Tavern, Anstruther.

I needed two costumes that first year. I opened the night wearing my top hat and tails, a big tour beard and a white face. When Gummi Bako came on I ran off back to HMS Ginafore’s house and got changed into my second outfit. The beard came off, the white make up came off, the frock, eye-liner, lipstick, fishnet tights and heels all went on. By the time I returned to the ship, the Ghoulies had struck up their first song and in I flounced, reading from a French novel. Nobody recognised me.

Halloween has become a fixture in the Fence calendar, and although we’ve moved to different venues and locations over the years, we’ve stuck to our fancy dress theme throughout. This year, however, Bob Agnews has insisted on a party on Guy Fawkes’ night instead. Hope to see you at Hott Loggz then!

Fence Records’ Guy Fawkes party, Hott Loggz, is in Anstruther on Sat 5 Nov.

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