Monday 23 April 2018

Review: KT Tunstall at The Olympia, Dublin

KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

It is hard to say with absolute certainty but I don’t think anyone has danced on a Dublin stage dressed as a banana since an Aphex Twin DJ set in the old Temple Bar Music Centre.

To get into the festive Halloween spirit, Kate Victoria Tunstall is resplendent in a bright red Michael Jackson ensemble. Meanwhile, her mother is perched in a guest box dressed as David Bowie and all her band and crew are in costume.

A complaint often levelled at touring musicians is they don’t say enough to the audience, but you couldn’t possibly say this about Tunstall, who chose her stage name to distinguish herself from Katie Melua and as a subtle homage to PJ Harvey, although apparently she also considers Kate to be a somewhat boring name.

Tunstall is a feisty and funny Scottish singer who incessantly chats to her fans, compliments them on their Halloween outfits and puts absolute everything into giving the evening an added sense of occasion. The music is pretty good too; miles away from the dull likes of Dido who she was once puzzlingly compared to her early days.

Her breakthrough hit Blackhorse and the Cherry Tree segues into a rather surreal but effective cover of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. By the time she concludes with her career defining anthem Suddenly I See, which made lucrative in roads into the American market while being reportedly considered by Hillary Clinton's team as a campaign song, Tunstall has every single member of the crowd in the palm of her hands.

Few artists who grace this stage are as personable, friendly and good value for money as KT Tunstall.

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