O2 Academy: KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall was going to jib off making music for good. She’d had enough and decided to leave it all including her home in London, and move to LA, she tells us from the blistering heat of a packed O2 Academy. After a few months of being there, a drive through the Hollywood Hills listening to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and all the other greats changed that. It put her fire in her belly and now she’s back with her new album ‘Kin’ and we’re so happy about it.


I remember seeing her for the first time on Jools Holland way back in 2004, playing her now world famous; Black Horse and The Cherry Tree. Using just a mic, a guitar and a loop pedal she managed to make it sound like she was backed by a 12-piece orchestra and I was hooked.

The one thing I’ve always loved about KT is the fact she has proper talent. She’s got a belter voice and always puts on an amazing live show. Last night was no different. Backed with a bassist/synthist, keyboard played and drummer, she smashed every tunes head in from the most rock & roll to the melodic, slow picked love songs.

As I’ve already mentioned, the academy was roasting. Unsafe levels of heat in my opinion. This led to KT’s keyboard player, Rachael, fainting mid song. The performance was stopped and a medic called etc. but only for a short while. The band left the stage leaving KT by herself with just her guitar and loop pedal and to be honest, it was the best part of the night. She gave an intimate acoustic set for 3 or 4 songs coming to a climax with Black Horse and The Cherry Tree mixed in with The White Stripes’ 7 Nation Army. The band jumped back on stage half way through (minus Rachael) and brought the song to an amazing crescendo.


The gig continued sans keyboardist but wasn’t even the worse for it. She topped it off with a really rocky version of a crown classic, Suddenly I See and blew us all away! Throughout the gig, in between songs KT really spent the time to interact with the audience, even talking to specific individuals (like Dan, who had never been to a live gig before in his life!) and this really made it different to other live musicians. It wasn’t scripted or forced. You felt that KT really enjoyed it, and wanted to be there, and make us laugh and be happy. Which made it that little bit extra special.