kttunstallred.jpg Live At Rock City

KT Tunstall

Date: 31/10/2005   —   £15.60   —   Music

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Rock City was jammed, I haven’t been there before as a venue, the queue to get in was all the way around the block. I think it was a sell-out gig this one so expectations were pretty high.

I was lucky enough to get pretty near the front, right in front of the centre mic 5 rows of people back, unfortunately there was a bloke in front of me exactly my height who couldn’t keep his head still! The gig started around 8.15pm with Ed Harcourt, a man with an excellent voice and a capability to play a great number of instruments. The crowd were restless and Ed’s style was not loud enough to drown out the many people talking across the venue. He has a macabre style and the subject matter of his songs such as stalking, butchery etc. seemed appropriate to Hallowe’en but you get the feeling Ed is a dark fellow and his set probably doesn’t change all that much! However his innovative style and desire to use different technology including an old-type synth and 50s style mic made him a break from the norm.

KT and the band came on around 9.20pm. By this time the crowd were very restless and there was much shifting around and people trying to get to the front. The band kicked off with The Other Side Of The World and all was rapidly forgiven. Every song from the Eye To The Telescope album was played along with some new material including what is likely to be a single from the new album when it is released Dark Water

KT Tunstall has an easy, relaxed and sociable style, she chats to the audience constantly, there is a reciprocal enjoyment that leads to an infectious enthusiasm. This is coupled with a very acomplished band with a Pink Floyd influenced slide guitarist, Arnie a versatile bass player who plays haunting cello harmonies to the beatiful Heal Overand belts out double bass rhythms as well as playing the bass guitar, a mad drummer with 2 drum kits and the keyboard player who does a bit of percussion including at one stage using a tambourine against a metal dustbin lid – this one presumes is part of KT Tunstall’s adherence to the Tom Waits ideal that if you want the sound of a boot on a cardboard box, use a boot on a cardboard box.

It should not be underestimated that whilst KT Tunstall’s nouse and use of a very astute musical brain is indeed very vital to her appeal it is her fantastic voice that really makes her the performer she is. The fact that she’s a bit of a fox doesn’t do her any harm either! She has picked a band that are not people to sit in the background and somehow simply accentuate her munificence but instead will challenge her and make her develop as an artist. This is a multi-talented group and I look forward to seeing how their repertoire expands over the next few albums.

I don’t think it is hyperbole to say this is modern singer/songwriting at very near its absolute best.

Song Of The Day ~ KT Tunstall – Heal Over (Live Version 8 mins and cello n’all!)