PREVIEWING tracks from her fifth studio album, Los Angeles-based St Andrews native KT Tunstall seemed delighted to be back in her homeland, delivering a sparkling set ahead of her tour of the Highlands and Islands.
KT Tunstall | Rating: **** | Perth Concert Hall
Backed by a new band, the new tunes evoke a period of watershed, of relationships past and fresh beginnings, with the mood upbeat and gutsy rather than reflective. Maybe It’s a Good Thing is the record’s mission statement, a typically melodic blend of tootsy pop and rock with Tunstall’s bluesy vocal soaring, while forthcoming single Evil Eye is less forgiving, with the singer spitting her lyrics over a grinding guitar. Inspired by an LA fetish club,
Hard Girls is a deceptively sympathetic, even tender assessment of the “sex Goth” scene, of “soft girls trying to be hard girls”. Even accounting for the subject matter, it has obvious radio play potential.
Romping through her previous hits, a solo rendition of Black Horse and the Cherry Tree with customary loop pedal swelled into a full, hillbilly stomp by the band, via The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, Tunstall encouraged the crowd to hold their mobiles lit and aloft for the languid chorus of Other Side of the World. Tearing through a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s You Make Loving Fun, she closed with the otherworldly The Healer, her distorted vocal and pulsating guitar ensuring the evening ended on a memorably heavy note.