Almost twenty years on from her highly acclaimed debut, KT Tunstall returned to Shepherds Bush Empire on Tuesday night to what was to prove to be an electric night. It feels apt to mention the age of her debut, given how the night ended up feeling like a trip down memory lane, featuring more than just KT’s own classic naughties songs.
Andy Burroughs of Razorlight kicked off proceedings, claiming his set to be like tea and biscuits, but garnering a cheer for KT before beginning. He ends his set with a double header of Razorlight’s hit Before I Fall To Pieces, and an original, both getting the crowd adequately warmed up.
It’s not long before he and his guitarist are back on stage. The line up of KT’s band is concise, consisting of Andy, his guitarist Stewart, and Seye Adelekan, fresh off of performing and recording with Gorillaz. KT skips out onto the stage, crying the venues name, before announcing “are you ready for new tunes?” Diving straight into pounding drums and energetic acoustic guitar.
Dear Shadow starts with KT announcing her ‘campaign’ to have people give up trying to be cool upon meeting someone they like. The song follows with a suitable fierceness that fits the mantra. Honouring songwriter Cathy Dennis, who according to KT is somewhere in the audience, she flows seamlessly into both Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and Toxic, finishing with her own catchy tune.
“Old is great, who else is getting old?” KT asks, announcing ‘an old song’. Complete with phone light, Other Side Of The World quite literally lights up the venue. She is left on her own mid way through the set, saying “I don’t always play with a band…it’s incredibly expensive”. Under The Weather goes with a few missteps, as does Three, but there’s a care-free, rock’n’roll attitude to the set that makes these moments of imperfection shine.
The announcement of special guest Natalie Imbruglia surprises and the crowd, as does their rendition of Torn. The so-called busking section concludes with KT’s own classic Cherry Tree, transitioning smoothly back into a full band, and playing Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) in tribute to Annie Lennox on her induction into the rock and roll hall of fame.
KT jokes with the audience, playing the “is this the last song?” game. Clearly, the night isn’t over, and the audience isn’t keen for it to be. Canyons concludes to thunderous applause, but it’s the closing trio of Out of Touch, Brain in a Jar, and Suddenly I See that truly finish the night with a bang. It’s a fitting end to a wonderfully performed, rawly-executed night.
I Am the Pilot
Dear Shadow / Can’t Get You Out Of My Head / Toxic
Other Side of the World
Under the Weather
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree / Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Push That Knot Away
All the Time
Saving My Face
Out of Touch
Brain in a Jar
Suddenly I See
Writer and Musician, Ryan Bulbeck has been published with a number of online publications, and has worked with a myriad of great artists, both as a performer, and as a producer. His most recent band The 295 are still active, playing shows around the UK.