KT Tunstall reviewed - 03 November 2011
Sometimes you get to a gig and you know it's going to be an enjoyable experience. This was one of those nights as folk-rock queen KT Tunstall rolled into Basingstoke to pop her 'Amazing-stoke' cherry. First up was Sam Smith who, unlike most support acts I've seen, was not booed, heckled or ignored. Instead, his clearly very personal acoustic material like 'Beauty In A Bar' (dedicated to the time he met his girlfriend) and 'Another Lifetime' (a song about remembering a great place and wishing you were still there) was warmly received by an attentive audience.
By the time KT Tunstall walked out onto the stage there wasn't a seat in the house unoccupied so, with all eyes on the singer, it was left to Tunstall and her assembled kit, or musical equivalent to an internet bride as she referred to it, to keep this audience entertained for nearly ninety minutes. Clearly oozing with confidence and enjoying every minute of being onstage, it wasn't long before the singer/musician hit her stride even stopping midway through the first verse of one song and starting all over again after forgetting the lyrics.
Now, unlike bands or groups, as a solo artist you are subjecting yourself to a certain vulnerability onstage. There is no backing band or stage show to fall back on, just you, your music and a watching audience. Not that this bothered Tunstall one bit as, for 'Shanty Of A Whale,' she put down her guitar, stepped away from the mic and delivered the entire song from memory. For five minutes, pure, emotional, raw talent poured from the stage as only the sounds of her voice filled the cavernous room. Of course, the response from the crowd was one of massive appreciation which seemed to be the cue for Tunstall to really step things up a gear.
With the audience hanging off every word, Tunstall took to her piano joking that the two songs she was about to perform were the only two she had written on her piano making her endless lessons as a child the most expensive piano lessons ever. Again, while Tunstall joked about the expense of the lessons, one listen to her pouring everything she had into Lost showed that the end result was probably worth it. The set continued with 'Madame Trudeaux' being dedicated to all those rock 'n' roll urban myths while 'Skinny Lou' was dedicated to her skinny mate who was pregnant.
Hit single 'Suddenly I See' brought the sold-out crowd to their feet for a raucous finale as the night drew to breathtaking conclusion and, as Tunstall departed stage right, she left with the sounds of a very satisfied audience ringing in her ears.