Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jul 6th 2010 12:15PM by Barnaby Smith
Capacity: 50 to 70
Come to see: Unfortunately, for most people the Ship Tavern is going to be a bit of a hike. Anstruther is a small town that lies on the chilly east coast of Scotland, within the 'council area' of Fife. Now, for many fans of the UK's folk re-awakening in recent years, mention of this region should set off frissons of excitement, for it is Fife that is home to Fence Records, the acclaimed independent label set up by King Creosote himself that also houses James Yorkston, Lone Pigeon, HMS Ginafore and Player Piano.
The Ship Tavern was and is one of the key local venues for Fence artists and others from this fecund region, with Saturdays and Sundays still hosting communal jam sessions from less-heralded local musicians. Non-Fife dwellers such as London electro-folk merchant Adem have also been known to pop up here in the past. To profile the Ship Tavern is to profile an entire scene.
In short, the Ship Tavern is a place for authentic traditional music, plus fairly regular appearances from the glitterati that belong to Fence. The Tavern is the unofficial headquarters of this special label, as well as being the local platform for its artists. The Ship Tavern was therefore a key venue for the 2010 Homegame festival, the annual knees-up organised by Fence which this year featured the likes of Four Tet, Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, Adrian Crowley and the Unthanks. The Ship Tavern also takes part in another festival, Fifestock.
Finally, 'troubled' Aliens frontman, former Beta Band member and Lone Pigeon Gordon Anderson still lives nearby and may put in an appearance here once in a while. And even if he doesn't perform, he is one who is always entertaining.
The Atmosphere: This seafront pub is gloriously old-fashioned, in that it is a hub of community and retains a true sea-faring vibe, what with all the nautical memorabilia that decorates the interior. Aside from that, a good comparison might be the infamous Green Man pub from 'The Wicker Man' with its celebratory and somewhat bawdy charm, though perhaps don't expect a writhing, naked Britt Ekland come night time.
The other thing that the Ship Tavern has is a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of music, ensuring all artists are treated with profound respect.
You Saw Them Here First: All those Fence artists previously mentioned, of whom James Yorkston is arguably the biggest name. Also, an early local singer involved with the Fence family was one KT Tunstall, who would certainly have spent a night or two in here.
Claim to Fame: Given that the Ship Tavern is first and foremost a public house, the very fact it has such a strong connection with Fence Records is its claim to fame. CDs used to be pressed in the back room.
You Should Also Know: Just as much of a local institution as the Ship Tavern is the Anstruther Fish Bar, a few doors down. This place has won national awards and customers often must queue for an hour to get fed.
Booking Now: The Ship Tavern is one of the venues taking place in Haarfest, which runs from August 16 to 21 and features King Creosote, Lone Pigeon, the Earlies, the Pictish Trail, Silver Columns and Adem.