KT Tunstall @ Union Chapel 8th November 2011

When KT announced the Solo tour I knew I had to be there. Previous times had been with a full band and this time it would be stripped back. This was one amazing evening. My day started with sitting on the steps outside the Union Chapel and this was about 3.30pm. Thankfully two dedicated KT fans who were attending the whole tour were there before me. Around about 6pm that is when the majority of people started to arrive. Once the doors opened people started to trickle into the chapel and I then made my way to the front row pews expecting there to be a reserve sign placed on the seat. Thankfully there wasn’t. The evening kicked off with Rozi Plain whom took to the stage at 7.30pm. A couple of songs that featured in the set included Stolen Shark and new single Humans. Plain is currently signed to Fence Records and debut album Over Here was released in 2008. The set played was amazing but she didn’t have that certain something that makes me want to rush out and witness her play live again. However I will be keeping tabs on her music and who knows I may see Rozi in the future. Second on the night was Sam Lewis. The style of his music was Acoustic Blues which sounded amazing. I advise people to check his music out because he is right up my street. I would definately rush to attend his next gig. Sam’s set ended at 8.40pm and it was only 20 minutes until the headline act took to the stage.

“Hi London, How are you? Well I’m as delighted as you to be able to get into this building. It’s just so fantastic, what a brilliant thing to be able to play here and thankyou for buying all the tickets London” Tunstall said the to the intimate audience as soon as she made her entrance onto the stage. “It’s a solo show but this is the kind of musical equivalent of an Internet Bride. It’s like you just got to browse and see what you like” KT went onto say before kicking off the night with a song from the 2nd album which was about a bird. The song in question being White Bird and the loop pedal was used for this wonderful song. This haunting song was delivered to perfection and it received plenty of applause from the audience. “This next song is about when you really fall in love with an artists music and then you find out that they are a total tool” Tunstall then said to the audience before going to play The Entertainer which was both lovely and very smooth. This song is also KT’s favourite song and it’s also one of my favourites from the Tiger Suit album. Tunstall powered through this song and the vocals were outstanding. “A couple of years ago before I made my last album, I took an amazing trip up to the Artic and kinda somewhere I always wanted to go and I was on a boat with 40 other musicians and artists and sculptures and poets. It was kind of a nightmare” Tunstall said before revealing that on that trip she suffered a confidence crisis and then got off the boat to live in the little town of Uummannaq. This then led into the infectious and upbeat Uummannaq Song. Once again the loop pedal was used for this song. My favourite part had to be the chorus. The song itself was very pacey. Under The Weather was up next and this rendition of the song was rather beautiful. While this song was delivered powerfully it’s chorus was rather mellow. “This is a song for anybody who lives in London now and decide to go out with someone who doesn’t live in London. That was stupid” Tunstall said before launching into the lovely Other Side Of The World. The song was delivered beautifully. Lyrically this song was fantastic and the melody was so hypnotic. Once over KT then made her way to the piano. “Yes London, It’s a piano. No London, not entirely sure how to play it but I’ll do my best” Tunstall went onto say before revealing had never had any guitar or singing lessons but had alot of piano lessons. “Only my parents truly know how expensive these songs are”. This song being the beautiful ballad Lost. I simply adore this song and KT sailed through it at ease. “So Mum and Dad you can count that song as years 4-10 probably, here’s a 11-16” Tunstall then said before playing Through The Dark. This was the first time I had heard it played live and it reminded me of a Nerina Pallot song. Through The Dark was delivered to perfection and considering she mentioned how her piano skills weren’t amazing KT got through this song without a hitch.

Tunstall then introduces us to her Boston Mascot Len and she told the crowd how she purchased him at a second hand shop. It was then back onto guitar for Drastic Fantastic song Beauty Of Uncertainty. This song was delivered at a steady pace and the vocals were alot deeper compared to the other songs on the night. “It’s quite funny tonight coz I write my set list before the show and I’m trying to play some different stuff on this tour coz I’m crazy. And this I forgot to put this song on and it’s like the 5th time I’ve done it and it just feels a little bit freudian somehow. But I decided that although this is the perfect venue to miss it out I would feel a little rude” Tunstall wen’t onto say before launching into the audience pleasing Black Horse And The Cherry Tree. To begin with everyone started to clap along to the beat. This song was delivered stongly and I really like it’s fast pace. This song was special though because when KT played the kazoo she launched into The White Stripes 7 Nation Army. The mash up between these two songs was amazing and the audience definately loved every second. The next 4 songs of the night were taken from The Scarlet Tulip EP and was the 1st thing she recorded using her solar powered recording studio. The first finger picking song was Scarlet Tulip. There was a slight huskiness in the vocals and you can definately pick up on the folk vibe. “This next one is about a tree, the first one was about a flower and the next one is about unicorns” “This is about a tree whose really pissed off, he thinks people are terrible, he thinks they suck, because all of his friends are flat packed Ikea furniture” Tunstall said to the audience before playing Hidden Heart. I found it to be quite spine tingling and the vocals were extraordinary. You can clearly picture the story that this song is telling when you carefully listen to the lyrics.

“Sometimes you feel that some songs are written for some spaces and I kind of feel like this song has been written for this place” Tunstall said before showing us the Angel Axe. The song in question being the wonderful Alchemy. This song was pure perfection the vocals were spot on. Alchemy was really beautiful and haunting at the same time. Once over Tunstall told the story that hunters thought Sperm Whales were full of sperm but they then found out it was just oil. What followed was something both spine tingling and incredible at the same time. KT went up into the pulpit to deliver  Shanty Of The Whale to pure perfection. KT mentioned that she wrote it from the perspective of a human being hunted. With the fact the acoustics within the chapel are fantastic resulted in KT’s vocals bouncing from the sides so everyone could clearly hear. “You’ve been incredible and I’ve been so looking forward to this gig and it’s just amazing to be up here on my own and just be able to use this space however I want to” Tunstall said before saying we were the perfect crowd. “This next number is for anybody that has come to the gig tonight who bought a pair of tickets and told a friend that they had a spare one if they wanted to come” KT then went onto say before ending the set with Stoppin’ The Love. Midway through the song Tunstall revealed she had swallowed a trumpet player when she was only a child. KT then played the trumpet only using her lips. Stoppin’ The Love was rather upbeat. KT then exits the stage only to return moments later. “Who likes Stevie Nicks?” Tunstall said before playing Landslide. This cover version was remarkable KT definately did the song justice. The night came to a close with the rip roaring Suddenly I See. This song oozed plenty of energy and KT even urged everyone to stand up.

SET LIST

White Bird
The Entertainer
Uummannaq Song
Under The Weather
Other Side Of The World
Lost
Through The Dark
Beauty Of Uncertainty
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree/ 7 Nation Army
Scarlet Tulip
Hidden Heart
Alchemy
Shanty Of The Whale
Stoppin’ The Love

ENCORE

Landslide
Suddenly I See

OVERALL: This night was incredible. My love for KT grows and grows. I may have only seen her live 5 times but I definately want to see her play again. I can see why the Tunstall faithful have seen her alot of times. What I loved was the fact it was just KT by herself, yes I do love it when it is a full band but hearing her solo gives each song more scope. This night was extra special not only the fact it was played in the lovely Union Chapel but the majority of the songs played I hadn’t heard live. In fact more songs that featured on the night came from the debut album Eye To The Telescope (there were 6 songs taken from that album only 3 from the last album Tiger Suit). The support acts were delightfu. Sam was amazing whist Rozi is someone I will keep tabs on.

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