Music review: KT Tunstall at Kelvingrove Bandstand

KT Tunstall is a slick entertainer. She knows how to work a crowd. Her gigs are full of jokey call-and-response routines, requests to wave your phone in the air, and to sing along to songs you've never heard before (don't worry, she'll teach you how the simple chorus goes first). She's the sparkly antithesis of the dour singer-songwriter who can barely muster a mumbled 'thanks' between each song. Unfortunately, her sense of humour is irritating. Tonight's audience clearly enjoyed her harmless nonsense. I felt like I was trapped in the company of a relentless children's entertainer.

KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall **

Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow

Also, her music is Radio 2 blandness personified. Despite her early alignment with independent heroes The Fence Collective – tonight’s support act was The Pictish Trail, with whom she performed a cover of Erasure’s A Little Respect – she’s always been rooted in the middle of the mainstream road.

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That’s fine when it comes to good commercial pop songs like Suddenly I See, but most of her output makes Travis sound like Einsturzende Neubauten. Her strong, throaty voice is squandered on this anodyne material.

The inevitable highlight was her impressively loop-pedalled solo performance of Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, which segued into a kazoo-assisted cover of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army. Her self-deprecating anecdote about that career-making Jools Holland performance of the song was, for once, genuinely amusing.

It was a reminder of the more interesting, offbeat artist she could’ve become had she not decided to focus on beige Fleetwood Mac knock-offs instead.