Review: KT Tunstall - Grand Opera House York

KT Tunstall 

Grand Opera House, York 

Sunday 6th Nov 2011: A steamy Opera House welcomed the skipping singer to the stage as a 30 foot hologram of a tiger loomed behind her. This was not a York audience – instead an internet led partisan group of followers filled the theatre.

Had it not been for a cancellation in 2004 Ms. Tunstall could have been at home watching Downtown Abbey.

One night on Jools Holland with a guitar pedal transformed her life. Then it was Anita Baker and Robert Smith who were agog at her skills . Tonight was our turn.

Photo by Tim Hardy
Standing alone with only her “Friends from Taiwan” for company the stage resembled a geek’s bedroom. Anyone expecting to be short-changed by the lack of a band was instantly corrected.
To see a song’s layers built up before you was magical. The world’s manufacturing problems could instantly be solved as she can create something from nothing.

Playing through songs from her three studio albums and some rare unseen treats such as “Crows” she enchanted the three tiers. The sound & production perfectly embraced each song.

A stage can be a lonely place but not if you are this talented.

“Other side of the world” showed her beautiful soft side then a medley of “Black Horse” & The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” highlighted her power & aggression.
This was a showcase of a singer-songwriter’s technical skill but her true skill is the balancing act she does with credibility, vulnerability, confidence, beauty ,modesty and humour -  a rare mix in modern performers.

After a triumphant encore of “Suddenly I see” featuring a comedy trumpet solo KT left to a standing ovation.

One man bands have come a long way from an old man kicking a dog on the chorus.

Review by Ian Donaghy