Songs in the Key of Fife

Preview by Daniel Davies | 02 Jul 2013

Well don't be! The Fence Collective, a loose grouping of musicians based around the Kingdom of Fife, are one of the most inspiring and heartening collectives working in Scotland today. Eschewing a desire for success in the homogenous quagmire that is contemporary mainstream music, they favour a commitment to community and collaboration. Fence are a bulwark against the boring poison that seeps into our ears from every radio, car, and iWhatever around.

Their label, Fence Records, has been quietly delivering quality output for the past fifteen years. Founded by Kenny Anderson (AKA King Creosote, who recently departed from its roster), Johnny Lynch (AKA The Pictish Trail) now takes the lead in the running of the label, but it is a true collective, with the emphasis firmly on artistic autonomy. Humbly, they describe themselves as “a collective of musicians, artists, craftsfolk, chancers and slackers.” However, such surface insouciance belies the seriousness and depth of their endeavour. Fence were founded out of a disillusion with the modern industry and they stand in opposition to their larger, profit-obsessed contemporaries, all the while churning out organic, celebratory performances based on the honest, unpretentious craft of their music.

It is with good cause, therefore, that Vic Galloway’s new book, Songs in the Key of Fife, details their establishment and the extraordinary intertwining of East Fife’s finest. This Jura Unbound night will follow on from Galloway’s appearance at the main festival and promises to be a gift. Fence have a reputation for creating intimate performances and this looks to be an affirmative celebration of how music emerges from community, imagination and friendship. Anyone who has come into contact with Fence sticks with them; this event will undoubtedly convert everyone in the Guardian Spiegeltent to Fence obsessives. 

Guardian Spiegeltent, Sun 25 Aug, 9pm, free