27th October at Albert Hall
As audience members took a pew upon the balcony of the Albert Hall on 27th October, I gazed around in awe. An Albert Hall virgin, I was stunned by the omnipotent aura that hummed from the walls of this resurrected Wesleyan chapel adorned with elegant stained glass windows. It was like looking out from inside a Christmas bauble nestled between dimly lit fairy lights. Following the atmospheric force of Braids, whose music is best suited for a stroll through Elven Rivendell, the ritualistic murmur of the crowd buzzed through the venue in eager anticipation of KT Tunstall.
Tunstall took to the stage with a Joan Jett-esque swagger, depicting an effortless confidence that shrouded her in an armour of seeming immortality. Tunstall could have commanded any arena — although she slightly erred towards pantomime interaction at times — yet she blurred the boundary between performer and audience and could just as easily have been our best pal performing at an open mic. Gems such as ‘Other Side Of The World’ and ‘Suddenly I See’ were little pieces of home for Tunstall fans, eliciting an implicit desire to put our arms round each other as we sang in unison.
Songs such as ‘It Took Me So Long To Get Here (But Here I Am)’ fell flat, a wash of beige watercolour that lacked the spark of songs like ‘Evil Eye’ and ‘Madame Trudeaux’. Firm fan favourite ‘Black Horse And The Cherry Tree’ was a highlight, exhibiting her gravelly, soulful vocals to their finest.
Watching Tunstall perform was like immersing oneself into a sea of shattered kaleidoscope pieces, a new world to be explored with fascination as it twists, turns, and morphs into every conceivable colour. Tunstall is certainly no shrinking violet and we shall await further revelations of the versatility of her raw talent.