Lichfield Cathedral 5 July 2019 – for Lichfield Festival 2019
One of the opening events of this year’s Lichfield Festival was a performance from the singer and song writer KT Tunstall. KT has had a number of hit singles and albums since the early 2000’s following her debut album Eye to the Telescope in 2004. She’s toured extensively all round the world but this was her first visit to Lichfield.
The setting was an usual one for her, the stage being set inside Lichfield Cathedral, which created a stunning backdrop to her impressive collection of songs. An expectant full house audience gave her a warm welcome as she bounced on to the stage. After a quick intro saying that she was delighted to be performing in the cathedral she launched into the first set of songs. These included Little Red Thread and It Took Me So Long to Get Here but Here I Am and the achingly lovely Other Side of the World.
Dressed in sparkly gold tops KT formed an all female three piece band with a bass player and drummer while she played a variety of guitars, all with equal skill and verve.
In between songs she told anecdotes and stories, some of them about her life journey and personal experiences, including the importance of body, soul and mind. Engaging, funny and self-depreciating she came across as very natural and not showy or flash. Quite emotional when talking about the late David Bowie, she sang a cover of I Won’t Back Down by the departed Tom Petty and also gave us a tantalising, and all too brief, snippet of Faith by George Michael. KT also mentioned meeting Robert Smith of the Cure when she had first become famous and explained that he just seemed ordinary and ‘well…just…nice’. Both KT and the Cure had just performed at the Glastonbury Festival and she was clearly right it the groove, the first set continued in great form, with my personal favourite being Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. Performed solo by KT, she managed to create an awesome sound using a single guitar and her own vocals, generating real depth and emotion. Her voice has a lovely rasp to it which suits the R&B numbers but which she can also adapt to a smoother style for the slower ballads. Her guitar work is really impressive, switching from rhythm to lead guitar with consummate ease and filling the auditorium with vibrant noise – quite an achievement in the nave of the cathedral which is perfect for choristers and choirs but harder for rock singers.
After the break KT performed a fine second set of songs with a mix of new songs from her latest album, Wax, and also older material. She finished, quite naturally, with the catchy and singalong Suddenly I See, which got everyone up on their feet and earned her a well-deserved standing ovation.
A fantastic way to kick off the 2019 Lichfield Festival, as KT and the band left the cathedral they looked delighted to have played in such a historic and imposing venue.
KT Tunstall was energetic, enthusiastic, talented, powerful, melodic, witty, rocking and…well…just…nice.
KT Tunstall performed in Lichfield Cathedral as part of the 2019 Lichfield Cathedral.
The Lichfield Festival runs until Saturday 13 July and full details of other events can be found at:
*Photo courtesy of Lichfield Festival and credit: Redlock Photography