KT Tunstall at the TabernacleCultureMusicLive music
The Tabernacle, KT Tunstall informs us, has a noise policy. Therefore, if she turns up the volume too much the power will, via a circuit breaker, automatically cut itself off. This kind of modern contrivance has played havoc for the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney in much bigger venues. But here, ensconced in the intimacy of a hall in Notting Hill, KT explains explicitly her thoughts on this matter and then throws caution to the wind.
She is vibrant as ever, bantering away with the audience about sex, relationships and life, and you realise that you’ve missed KT Tunstall even though you never quite knew that she was gone. Despite being a veteran of the music scene she has weaved in and out of popular consciousness, hitting a peak in the mid noughties, with her songs falling off the radio and her rise plateauing, if not having dipped, since her heyday.
But here she plays to her fans, who are raucous, and one could be forgiven for thinking that she is commanding a much larger audience at a much larger venue. She swings her acoustic guitar with aplomb, jigging and gyrating on stage like a modern-day Suzi Quatro. Her voice is powerful and beautiful in turns, bringing to mind Stevie Nicks and Christina Aguilera on grittier tracks like Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, whilst offering the high peal associated with Florence Welch on the haunting Other Side of the World, during which she encourages the audience to get out their phones to use as light beacons. “We’re going to turn The Tabernacle into Live Aid,” she says. It’s been done before, but never with such sass and confidence.
As she launches into her biggest hit Suddenly I See, she asks and the audience happily oblige with the “woo hoos”, and all at once this is a rock’n’roll concert, a knees up, a jam: it is everything that live music should be about.
For Tunstall, who has just signed a new contract with Caroline records, is about to release her fifth album and is currently on a national tour with her career in rude health. It may seem irrelevant that wider fame has not accompanied her on this great journey. As she finishes her encore with a raunchy version of Chaka Khan’s classic Ain’t Nobody, all we can really ask is KT, where have you been? Because it’s good to have you back.
For further information about KT Tunstall and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Suddenly I See here: