I mentioned the upcoming run of gigs I have and last Friday was the next on the list. I’d been off work a few days beforehand and if I’m honest I probably should’ve stayed at home and rested, but sometimes you just have to push through. YOLO!
And so me and a couple of friends found ourselves enviously eyeing up the clever people who had brought cushions whilst we sat on cold hard concrete and waited for the ever entertaining KT Tunstall to appear on stage at the Kelvingrove Bandstand.
I love this venue (but must remember a cushion next time!). It’s a wonderful little outdoor amphitheatre in the middle of Kelvingrove park, and even though that usually means you have to be prepared for a shower or two, it feels small enough to be intimate but that wide open space to the sky above you that makes everything a little more magical.
We got there in time for the last few songs from the support act – Pictish Trail – who, whilst having plenty of energy, seemed to have forgotten about some slightly more important things like melody…
It was as the sun started to head to the horizon that our tiny hero of the evening strode on stage and after a quick hello launched into Saving My Face. I mention this only as part apology to my friends, on whom I’d foisted a Spotify playlist of tracks in preparation for the gig, as I entirely missed this one!
The full setlist is here but I think she hit the mark with each choice and remains one of the better artists at mixing old songs with new, ohhh and check out that cover version which had everyone screeching their way to those top notes (and my sincerest apologies to Andy Bell for utterly butchering that song in my attempt to mimic his falsetto).
I’ve seen KT a few times, although mostly solo, and it was nice to hear more of the back story of her breakthrough appearance on Jools Holland where she hilariously explained her ‘costume choices’ that day…
And it’s here where she shines. The in-between moments, the casual banter, the bringing together of a disparate group of people – as she points out, never before and never again will that exact group of people be in the same space at the same time – into one big shared experience. Her gigs are all the richer for it and, similar to Guy Garvey, you get the sense that she would be just a cool person to hang with over a pint or three and ohhh boy would there be a lot of laughter!
Personal highlight for me was watching the realisation on the faces of my friends when they figured out what was going on when KT brought out her kazoo during Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (no spoilers but if you’ve seen her live you’ll know!), and I have to admit that during a couple of her slower songs as dusk set in and the spotlit trees behind the stage slowly cycled through a rainbow of colours I felt a real sense of pride and happiness. There I was, watching a talented Scottish artist performing in my dear green place all in the company of my closest friends.
Not a bad way to start off gig season, not a bad way at all.