on 2 September 2013
Just finished the book and found it a brilliant read. Vic does a braw job of outlining the birth of The Fence Collective right through to the present day. Vic has been involved with TFC,playing in some of the bands and championing their music on his radio shows. It was fascinating for me as I have met a few of the individuals in the book and it brought back some of my own heady memories of the Edinburgh/east coast music scene in the early `90s.
Vic's enthusiasm and love of the Fence collective and various people who helped bring The FC to life ,runs throughout the book. He is close friends with many of protagonists and I was wondering if this might result in a slight rose tinted view of events. However, Vic uses his close relationship with them and gets some revealing and often candid observations. While it is not a warts and all story, some difficult stories are covered The fractious relationship between the Anderson brothers, Kenny ( King Creosote), Gordon ( Lone Pigeon, Aliens, Beta Band) and Een ( Pip Dylan) reveal the occasional love/loathing relationship with music and Fife it self. Vic also details the Gordon Anderson's mental breakdown, which is quite a harrowing read. Steven Mason ( Beta Band, King Biscuit Time) James Yorkstone and KT Tunstall and many others also give insights into how this small scene gave them the chance to develop their music and their creativity.
Anyone who thought the Fence Collective were a bunch of rag tag hairy folkies need to read this book, as they will be surprised to find that behind the DIY ("Dae It Yersel" as they say in Fife) lay very business savvy group of individuals, helmed by Kenny Anderson and Johnny Lynch ( Pictish Trail) Vic details how they managed to create an environment where creative people can play and release music as diverse from trad folk, high energy disco pop, ambient electronic through to kraut rock. This was all done on the acts own terms; away from the London centric music business scene and its often fickle hype.
At the end of the book Vic does mention the Kenny and Johnny being slightly at odds as to the direction of the TFC. The Fence Collective has finally splintered ( ouch pun) Lynch has recently announced that he has formed Lost Map Records which will continue with the DIY approach run from his base on the Isle of Eigg. Kenny Anderson is running his own music events in Fife with Alter Ego Trading Company.
One wee thing I would of likes was a name Index for all the people (there is lot of them!) a Fence Family Style Rock Tree would have been good.
Go read the book and then go and discover the music!
on 14 October 2013
This book is a must-have for any aspiring musicians living in the provinces i.e outside London. The book avoids controversy and stirring up animosity and focuses on how a bunch of hard working people, making something of value, have stood the test. Particularly insightful in showing the changing landscape of the music industry from the nineties through to the present day.
on 20 August 2013
It takes a Fifer to know a Fifer. Not only is Vic Galloway a revered Radio DJ and host at T in the Park, he is also a musician and a Fifer who spent his early years in the company of many of the subjects of this excellent book. The essence of Fence was support and respect whilst allowing themselves to work individually but helping each other at the same time. A true collective.
It takes a lot of like minded individuals to make the community ethic work. It was a good balance and it's a great story. This wonderful book is like ten separate biographies of artists whose life and work intertwine as part of the greatest biography of all....Fence itself. The shop, the lable and the collective. The authors close relationship with many of the subjects has allowed him to explore far deeper than conventional biographies and reveal many frank and deeply personal insights into the lives and movements of this unique and inspirational organisation. This wonderful book is particularly relevant because it's release coincides with a new chapter as the original Fence reaches the end of it's natural life and is about to evolve in to two new and exciting futures.
I loved this book and it left me revisiting so many of my treasured albums and seeking out new ones, all of which are covered in this exquisitely researched work. Highly recommended!!