Tunng at Rough Trade East
Favourite haunt of the vinyl obsessed, Rough Trade’s London shops also regularly play host to intimate in-store gigs. In the digital age there is something very unique about watching a band in the midst of these tangible recordings. In recent months, Rough Trade East has presented a number of stellar names including Queens of the Stone Age, with only those fans lucky enough to snap up a limited number of special records granted access. The shop remained open while Tunng performed though, the British collective not quite in the same bracket of superstardom as Josh Homme and co. So while the shelves of 7 inch singles continued to be leafed through, the lights at the back of the store dimmed and Tunng took to the stage.
This was only the second date the band had played in as many years, the beginning of a tour behind latest record Turbines. On stage, Tunng resembles your everyday common and garden folk band, save for the figure of Phil Winter, who mans a deck of assorted synthesisers and laptops. This melding of jittery beats and organic acoustics has been Tunng’s calling card ever since their debut in 2004, which saw them saddled with the slightly unwieldy tag of folktronica.
In keeping with the balmy weather outside, the band focused on their sunnier side. Turbines darker and more meditative numbers were discounted in favour of the breezy Once and The Village. The band were utterly in sync with one another, despite early jokey warnings that they may have forgotten how to play, with the warm acoustic tones pausing every now and then for some squelchy synths or looped samples to take their time in the spotlight. Rough Trade’s acoustics may not be the greatest (it is a shop after all) but that didn’t seem to hinder the glorious harmonies produced by the band’s three vocalists.
The bouncy Hustle closed the set, maybe the group’s best-known number. It was a relatively short set consisting of only seven songs and served as a taste of Tunng’s talents rather than a real demonstration. The concentration on newer material and more hummable melodies may have slightly disappointed some fans, but for the limited time allotted, it was an impressive showcase. The crowd dispersed, some back into the sunshine outside, others hopefully taking advantage of their location to head straight to the vinyl filed under T.
Photos: Victoria Erdelevskaya
For further information and future events visit Tunng’s website here.
Watch the video for The Village here: