I was very sad to read an email from Fence Records this morning that Fence Records and Fence Collective is to come to an end…(since posting this Kenny Anderson issued a statement about the future of fence which I’ve included below) it wasn’t until 2006 that I first discovered them after they wrote to us about a new release: Barbarossa – Chemical Campfires. They’ve since remained a label I have great admiration for…and they’ve also been very influential on the music we cover and play. The good news is that the hard work that goes on behind this label will continue to churn away under a new guise which will be revealed very soon, so rather then apply any silly emotive spin on the whole thing here is the low down from Johnny Lynch / The Pictish Trail:
Since 1997, the Fence Records label and Collective have been based in and around the sleepy fishing villages of the East Neuk Of Fife and St Andrews, promoting our own distinct brand of Casio-folk, acoustic ambience and proto-electronic pop from a roster of artists across the UK and beyond. Famously, the area gave birth to members of The Beta Band, and KT Tunstall, and the label became a launch pad for the careers of King Creosote, James Yorkston, The Pictish Trail, UNPOC, Lone Pigeon, Pip Dylan, Rozi Plain, FOUND, François & The Atlas Mountains, Barbarossa, Withered Hand, Seamus Fogarty, Kid Canaveral and many others.
Over the past few years I’ve been spending most of my time on the Hebridean island of Eigg, orchestrating the release schedule and events calendar from my caravan studio; Fence founder Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) retired from involvement with the label at the end of 2012, focusing instead on solo projects and his Alter Ego Trading Company label.
All of a sudden there wasn’t much Fife in Fence, or much Fence in Fife.
So, aye – it feels like this chapter has come to an end, and it’s time to move forward with something fresh. The current Fence artist roster, including myself, have decided to continue under a new label/collective name. I’m almost tempted to use the word ‘rebrand’, but that sounds a bit wank. The main thing is this: we will retain the same DIY ethos, commitment to detail, and dedication to supporting original, innovative and – above all – inspiring music and songwriting.
Before any rumours start, it’s not because I’m pregnant, or have contracted a terminal illness or anything. And Fence hasn’t gone bankrupt, either. This hasn’t been an easy decision, and it’s taken a long time to get here – but it’s just time for something new, and we’re really looking forward to letting you know all about it in due course.
So what’s this new thing called? Well… you’ll have to wait a wee bit longer to find out – we’ll be making an official announcement next week. In the meantime, for those of you attending the Green Man Festival, our label showcase on the Friday night in the Cinema Tent will be our last official Fence Records event. The new name will be revealed there, and there’ll be a special freebie for folk in attendance.
I’ve been working full-time at Fence for 10 years, now – and it’s been incredible. I’m really proud of all the releases over that time, and have endless love for all the bands. And the events! So many memories. From the first Home Game, to this year’s Gnomegame – with a decade of pub gigs, Away Games, Eye O’ the Dugs and Halloween parties in between – organising the live events has always been a total pleasure, and playing host, an honour.
It’s been great getting to meet, blether and drink with you all, and I dearly hope you won’t be strangers at our future events under the new name.
Johnny Lynch / The Pictish Trail x
The following message was posted by Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) on his own website:
In the recent announcement made by Johnny Lynch (aka Pictish Trail) he hit the nail right on the head – by November 2012 there was certainly very little of Fife represented by Fence Records Ltd.
Having become increasingly uncomfortable with Fence Records’ direction I felt I had no choice but to bow out in November 2012. I have effectively locked myself out since, quietly operating under the Alter Ego Trading Company banner. I may be locked out for a while yet.
However, the nail hasn’t been hit into the coffin lid of fence. fence is alive and well and re-launching in January 2014 from our base here in the East Neuk of Fife. As well as the AETC’s “Bunfight” on August 31st, and “World Tour of Crail” in February, we’ll resurrect our Easter event in conjunction with the Anstruther Improvements Association to celebrate in the recent refurbishment of the Dreel Halls.
fence turns 20 next December, I imagine we’ll forget and host an awkward 23rd birthday bash in 2017.
Meantime, it’s business as unusual here under the fence rock as CDRs of rare titles are burned and artwork cut up by hand, so from all at fence and the AETC – Gummi Bako, Withered Hand, OnTheFly, Lomond Campbell, Uncle Beesly, Emporium, Beam, Lidh, Jo Foster, HMS Ginafore (weather permitting) and me, King Creosote – may we wish Johnny all the best with his new venture out on Eigg.
As Billy Pilgrim (R.I.P.) and I used to joke with our favourite regular customers in the fence shop on South Street, St Andrews, of which Johnny was by far the best, “thanks a lot, and careful you don’t let that door slam you on the ass on the way out!”
Thank you from the heart for your continued support going forward for both Johnny’s new, and my own hackneyed ventures.
Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote).