Sunday 24 November 2013

KT Tunstall At The Sage

KT Tunstall
The Sage, Gateshead

KT Tunstall lit up The Sage last week on a dark and stormy night. Playing completely solo, her personality filled the stage and she made a very strong connection with the very appreciative audience.

KT's latest album, Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon (the double title intentionally harks back to the days of vinyl B-sides) is her strongest to date, full of thoughtful and wonderful songs. Eight of the album's 12 songs were included in the show, together with the more familiar crowd-pleasers Other Side of the World (''my song about how it’s much better to go out with local people'') Black Horse and the Cherry Tree and Suddenly I See. Two tracks - Alchemy and Hidden Heart - came from The Scarlet Tulip EP, which can only be purchased from gigs and KT's official website.

There was a bit of banter regarding the geographical confusion over the Gateshead/Newcastle split (''Hello Newcastle!'' rarely goes by without comment at The Sage) but it was all good natured fun.

On some songs, KT recorded - in front of our very eyes - a riff or a vocal sample and then looped it back as her own backing. The last person I saw using that technique was Charlotte Church.

The other very memorable aspect of the evening was the excellent use of lighting, changing the mood as required for each song. A lot of effort and preparation must have gone into getting the lighting exactly right and it was well worth the trouble because the effect was, at times, magical.

It takes a combination of excellent material, exemplary musicianship, a great voice and a strong stage presence to keep a capacity audience entertained at a venue the size of The Sage for 90 minutes. KT Tunstall made it look easy. It was a wonderful evening and I hope I have the opportunity to see her again soon.

Set List

Invisible Empire
Old Man Song
Other Side of the World 
White Bird
Yellow Flower
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
Hidden Heart
Feel It All
Default (cover of a song originally by Atoms for Peace)
Made of Glass


Crescent Moon
Suddenly I See

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