KT TUNSTALL – LIVE AT MANDELA HALL 30.10.2016

It’s great when a gamble pays off, and this was a gamble that paid off.

When KT Tunstall announced a tour for October, Belfast was a conspicuous absence from the schedule. That would be become clear in late June when she was announced to play Belsonic.

Great you think. Unfortunately, it was as support to The Corrs. Yep, i’d have to go to a Corrs concert if I wanted to see KT Tunstall.

I decided to take a gamble, having an idea of how Music PR works. I suspected that there would be a Belfast gig on the October/November tour, but that the announcement would be embargoed until after the Belsonic concert.

In fact, it was announced during that concert, by KT herself. The gamble had paid off.

I’ve been a fan of hers since her debut in 2005, when I saw her performing Black Horse And The Cherry Tree on Jools Holland. Around the same time, a work colleague was raving about her. She also introduced me to James Blunt, but don’t hold that against her.

Her concert in Dublin the following night, 31st October, was marketed as a Halloween Party.

Not to be left out, the Belfast concert would soon be marketed as a Halloween Party, but a bit short notice as not a lot of people were in fancy dress.

One member of the audience came dressed as Donald Trump, jokingly shouting “Make America great again” when she spotted him in the crowd, replying “i’m fucking trying”. She lives in America these days. More of that later.

She entered the stage to the sound of We Will Rock You by Queen, not because she was here to rock us, but because she was in fancy dress as Freddie Mercury.

If you need to know, it was the 1980s Mercury with the moustache. Nobody ever goes as long haired 1970s Freddie Mercury.

Of course, she had a moustache, announcing that she didn’t expect the tache to stay on her face for more than three songs. It didn’t even last one song.

She opened with If Only, then following it up with an anecdote about being backstage at a festival in America when a hairy man in a golf cart drove towards her, shouting “TUNSTALL!!!! FIRST SONG, SECOND ALBUM. IT ROCKS!!!!!”.

It was none other than Dave Grohl, accompanied by fellow Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins. That song, she then played, Little Favours.

It was one of many stories shared, the show bordering into stand-up at times. The music was almost feeling like a bonus at times.

She was claiming this as a hometown show as her dad is from Belfast, though she has never met him.

Tunstall is now living in America and spoke of the cultural differences, such as strangers talking to her and the standard response of “Fuck off” isn’t as acceptable in America as it is in Scotland.

She told of how she walked past an Irish Bar and a band was playing one of her songs, making eye contact with the guitarist to give her approval, and he didn’t recognise her.

As well as KT Mercury, her crew were in fancy dress. One dressed as a banana, one dressed as Lady Gaga wearing a ham dress and her drummer was dressed as a member of Devo.

One of her band claimed he was dressed as James Bay though he didn’t look anything like him, it was purely for him to take on the James Bay role when performing Two Way, a duet between them on her new album.

There were some treats for fans, including covers of Walk Like An Egyptian and Seven Nation Army, the latter being played with a kazoo.

There was a treat for two members of the audience called Stephen/Steven and Tracey/Tracy (covering all bases to avoid spelling their name wrong) who shouted to request a selfie with her and she obliged, even though she did say it would “open the floodgates”

Signing off with Suddenly I See, she told the audience “See you soon”.

We can only hope.

Photo Album

THE SOUND OF 2015 : 26-50

26. Ryan Adams – Style
27. James Bay – If You Ever Want To Be In Love
28. James – To My Surprise
29. Duke Dumont – Ocean Drive
30. Duran Duran – Pressure Off
31. Beck – Dreams
32. Stereophonics – I Wanna Get Lost With .you
33. Hot Chip – Dancing In The Dark
34. FFS – Police Encounters
35. David Bowie – Valentine’s Day
36. Eagles Of Death Metal – Save A Prayer
37. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)
38. Rae Morris – Under The Shadows
39. Selena Gomez – Same Old Love
40. X-Ambassadors – Renegades
41. Foxes – Bodytalk
42. FFS – Johnny Delusonal
43. The View – Under The Rug
44. James Morrison – Demons
45. CeeLo – Music To My Soul
46. Blur – Ong Ong
47. Giorgio Moroder ft Britney Spears – Tom’s Diner
48. Ryan Adams – Bad Blood
49. Shura – Indecision
50. Triona – Shining Light

THE SOUND OF 2015 : 51-75

51. Stereophonics – Song For The Summer
52. Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia
53. Travis – Everything At Once
54. Brandon Flowers – Can’t Deny My Love
55. Echosmith – Cool Kids
56. Charli XCX ft Rita Ora – Doing It
57. Cathal Smyth – Do You Believe In Love?
58. Squeeze – Cradle To Grave
59. Stereophonics – Cest La Vie
60. Walk The Moon – Different Colours
61. David Bowie – Blackstar
62. New Order – Restless
63. Muse – Psycho
64. Kodaline – Ready
65. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Riverman
66. Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away With Me
67. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – The Dying Of The Light
68. James Bay – Hold Back The River
69. The Weekend – Can’t Feel My Face
70. Chvrches – Empty Threat
71. Sunset Sons – She Wants
72. The Vaccines – Handsome
73. Years and Years – King
74. Charli XCX – Famous
75. Natalie Imbruglia – Instant Crush

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 3.7.2015

1. James Bay – When We Were On Fire
2. The Staves – Teeth White
3. Olly Murs – Beautiful To Me
4. Friendly Fires – Jump In The Pool
5. Duran Duran – Pressure Off

And now, the first of two national celebrations. Wednesday was Canada. So, for my Canadian readers, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY CANADIAN ACTS

1. Tegan and Sara – Closer
2. Nelly Furtado – Do It Again
3. Barenaked Ladies – One Week
4. Celine Dion – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
5. Appleton – Fantasy

And for their Southern neighbours, it’s Independence Day tomorrow. So, here’s a chart for you.

FIVE SONGS BY AMERICAN ARTISTS

1. REM – The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
2. Buffalo Tom – Going Underground
3. Madonna – Rain
4. Paramore – That’s What You Get
5. The Cars – My Best Friend’s Girl

And to finish, i’m going to see James in Edinburgh in August. Fifth time in a fifth different town (after Sheffield, Glasgow, Belfast and Bray) and i’m very excited about it.

It’s part of a Festival called Magners Summer Nights, a series of outdoor concerts in Glasgow and Edinburgh in August. If you’re going to it, here’s some songs to get you in the mood.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS PERFORMING AT MAGNERS SUMMER NIGHTSS

1. James – She’s A Star
2. Echo and the Bunnymen – Nothing Lasts Forever
3. The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon
4. The Flaming Lips – Fight Test
5. Ben Folds – Battle Of Who Could Care Less

2015 : THE HALF-TERM HALF CENTURY

Well, we’re now at the halfway stage of 2015 and as is tradition at this time of year, it’s time for a Top 50 Songs Of The Year So Far, and it will keep you in suspense for the next six months as to what the best song of 2015 will be. Enjoy.

1. The Strypes – Get Into It
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Ballad Of The Mighty I
3. Mumford and Sons – The Wolf
4. Muse – Mercy
5. Little Mix – Black Magic
6. Taylor Swift – Style
7. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – You Know We Can’t Go Back
8. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
9. Florence and the Machine – Ship To Wreck
10. FFS – Johnny Delusonal
11. Frank Turner – The Next Storm
12. Kodaline – Honest
13. Blur – Ong Ong
14. Giorgio Moroder ft Britney Spears – Tom’s Diner
15. Mini Mansions – Death Is A Girl
16. James Bay – Hold Back The River
17. Kodaline – Ready
18. Years and Years – King
19. The Courteeners – Has The Told You That He Loves You Yet?
20. Charli XCX – Famous
21. Cathal Smyth – Do You Believe In Love?
22. Rae Morris – Under The Shadows
23. Soak – Sea Creatures
24. Imagine Dragons – Warriors
25. Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You
26. Charli XCX ft Rita Ora – Doing It
27. FFS – Piss Off
28. Brandon Flowers – Can’t Deny My Love
29. Blur – There Are Too Many Of Us
30. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
31. Stereophonics – Cest La Vie
32. Jason Derulo – Want To Want Me
33. Paul Weller – Going My Way
34. Mans Zelmerlow – Heroes
35. The Charlatans – Come Home Baby
36. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Riverman
37. James Taylor – Montana
38. Natalie Imbruglia – Instant Crush
39. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)
40. Muse – Psycho
41. Little Boots – Better In The Morning
42. Gravity Storm – (Don’t You) Forget About Me
43. Nick Jonas – Jealous
44. Years and Years – Shine
45. Prides – Higher Love
46. Brandon Flowers – I Can Change
47. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear – Silent Movies
48. The Strypes – Scumbag City
49. Blur – Lonesome Street
50. Florence and the Machine – What Kind Of Man

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 19.12.2014

Yes, a day late, I know, but ….. it’s Christmas, which is a handy excuse.

1. James Bay – Hold Back The River
2. AC/DC v Bee Gees – Staying Alive
3. Charli XCX – Need Ur Love
4. Embrace – Beautiful Day
5. Lisa Loeb – Light

In case you hadn’t noticed, this is the last Friday Five before Christmas, so here’s five songs to get you in the mood.

FIVE CHRISTMAS SONGS

1. Robert Goulet – Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
2. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
3. John Lennon – Happy Xmas (Ware Is Over
4. The Ramones – A Punk Rock Christmas
5. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town