It’s probably fair to say that the albums since 2004′s award-winning ‘Eye To The Telescope’ may have progressively alienated those who loved its breezy, folky – and highly accessible – pop.
Since that time KT Tunstall has released four more full length albums which haven’t quite had the impact of that debut but, whatever, performers have to move on. Her latest album ‘Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon’ was recorded in Arizona rather than Aberdeen and there is an obvious sub-Americana pop vibe permeating throughout and a more serious lyrical content overall.
That debut – released when she was 29 – displayed the sheer exuberance of a performer who had won her spurs busking whilst at High School and who later followed a low-key musical existence in her native Scotland; a decade or so on and the latest material explores darker and deeper themes. The first half of the new album explores the death of her father and is naturally quite poignant and things don’t get much lighter with the second half influenced by the break up of her marriage. It can only be hoped that KT’s audience matures with her.
Was this, then, a gig of “two halves”? Any fears about too much introspection and angst were allayed, and those who loved that debut were well serviced with four songs including rumbustious versions of ‘Black Horse and The Cherry Tree’ (coupled with a cover of the White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’) and ‘Suddenly I See’.
Perhaps the most striking omission from the setlist was anything from the previous album ‘Tiger Suit’ but there was a sublime version of ‘White Bird’ from ‘Drastic Fantastic’ and along the way ‘Alchemy’ from her ‘The Scarlet Tulip’ EP which demonstrated her musical versatility. However, it was actually the new material that perfectly showcased KT’s evolution and her fine vocals, such as ‘Made Of Glass’ and ‘Waiting On The Heart’.
This gig was the perfect antidote to manufactured pop – great songs and musicianship, the ubiquitous loop pedal, and a performer for whom life probably really does begin at 40.
Review by Emma Daze
Photos & Gallery by Steve Goudie
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!