Good reasons for a party w 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.



The Mercury Prize nominee explains why his Hallowe’ens are always big events

I n 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

Polaroids from Optimo Espookio, Sub Club, Sun 30 Oct 16 THE LIST 20 Oct–17 Nov 2011

We took a look instead at what Hallowe’en 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, Hallowe’en 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 for subscriptions/Christmas presents. pounds



On Hallowe’en 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.

Hallowe’en 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.

Fela Kuti ‘Zombie’ A 12-and-a-half minute afro-funk groove from the father of Afrobeat. The lyrics are about the Nigerian army, but it works perfectly well in a spooky situation. bit.ly/kutizombie

Al Kooper & Stephen Stills ‘Season Of The Witch’ Before he was one quarter of CSN&Y, blues guitarist Stills led this lengthy cover of Donovan’s pioneering psych-rock number, as sampled by The Pharcyde on 'Ya Mama' bit.ly/bkswitch Giuliano Sorgini ‘The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue’ Creepy yet occasionally poppy soundtrack to Jorge Grau’s 1974 Spanish/Italian horror. It was a very scarce and expensive album to get hold of before last year's CD reissue. bit.ly/sorgini

Whodini ‘The Freaks Come Out At Night’ Early 80s electro-hip hop. I remember playing this on tape back in 1985 when I was part of a spooky themed carnival float! bit.ly/whodini

Le Noiz ‘I’m Scared’ Another pioneering work, this one from the alter ego of Jesse Saunders. Near impossible to track down online, but you can listen to the B-side, ‘Get Out’. bit.ly/lenoizscared Mr Scruff, Potterrow, Edinburgh, Thu 17 Nov; The Arches, Glasgow, Fri 18 Nov.