KT Tunstall delights home crowd with a show of nostalgia and surprises

A crowd of people of all ages shouting in German was the unexpected scene at KT Tunstall’s energetic final stop of her mini three-night tour. Tunstall’s bassist Cheryl Pinero taught the audience the phrase, “Selbst ist die Frau,” meaning that women can do it on their own. It quickly became a fast-paced chant led by Tunstall as an interlude between songs. The night definitely proved the statement to be true, with 18-year-old Emma McGrath and her female two piece band opening the night. Her likeability and easy charisma nicely set the tone for the night. ‘Butterfly’ was a particular stand out song that got the audience moving and revved up to welcome Tunstall, clad in sequins and feathered epaulettes, to the stage.

KT Tunstall never fails to entertain. Her Edinburgh show is an appealing mix of rollicking karaoke hits mixed with newer releases. As she told the audience, her intention for the night was to “pepper” the set with her new songs so the audience wouldn’t drown in new content. This she did well, with high energy throughout the set both from Tunstall and the audience. It helps that her new album is packed with bold rock songs filled with strong beats and catchy guitar riffs.

Tunstall explained that her new album is all about having “big balls,” and capturing the atmosphere of her acclaimed live shows on a recording. One of the highlights of the night was during ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’, when Tunstall whipped out a kazoo, with the help of her looping pedal creating a remix with The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army.’ This type of creativity and fun was a theme throughout the evening, with other stand outs including a snippet of George Michael’s ‘Faith’, and a spot on impression of Chrissie Hynde.

Tunstall added a new twist to other classics, keeping them from feeling stale a decade later (and likely keeping her sane too). She closed her three song encore with ‘Suddenly I See’, updated with an electronic vibe to the crowd’s delight. Overall, the concert was an ideal mix of fun and warm friendliness. Tunstall was in her element, no doubt helped by her familiarity with the setting. As she shared with the audience, although she grew up in St Andrews, she was both born in Edinburgh and spent a lot of time here around being signed to a major label, so her show at Edinburgh’s Liquid Rooms was a homecoming, and a delightful one at that.

Image: Stefan Brending via Wikimedia Commons

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