Scottish superstar ready to rock in Leamington

SUDDENLY KT Tunstall see’s Leamington is where she wants to be, and she will be performing at the Assembly at the end of the month.

It is now over six years since the Scottish songstress burst onto the scene in 2004 with her now famous solo performance on Later with Jools Holland, and she has since gone on to find worldwide fame.

Hits such as Suddenly I See and Black Horse and the Cherry Tree from her first album Eye to the Telescope catapulted her up the charts, and have been followed by chart topping albums Drastic Fantastic, and most recently Tiger Suit.

She is now embarking on a full UK tour, and will be appearing at the Assembly on February 28.

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The grammy nominated songwriter said: “We’ve not played in Leamington before, it’s a virgin gig for us, I’m looking forward to playing.

“It’s very different playing smaller gigs to bigger ones, it’s easier to get a more intimate banter with the crowd, and you’ve got a little more opportunity to play the more fragile stuff.

“All the gigs on this tour are around a couple of thousand, I think that really suits my music. I’m a short-arse as well, so it means everyone can see me!

“This is definitely a tour to showcase the new record. I play the new album in its entirety and chuck some of the older ones in as well, with a new take on some of them.”

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The performance of Black Horse and the Cherry Tree on Jools Holland, where she performed alone with a guitar, a kazoo and a loop pedal won her an award, but only happened because scheduled performer Nas pulled out at the last minute.

When asked if she had any idea of the response she would receive, she said: “Oh my god no. I love watching it as you can see I had no idea that I’m being watched by The Cure and all these people.

“I’m so glad I didn’t have time to think about it. It was a very very fortuitous turn of events.

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“I don’t want to just be known for using a gizmo, but the loop pedal is a valuable performance tool. A good song should be able to be played in different ways.”

Her most recent album Tiger Suit is a change of direction from the bluesy, folk-rock for which she has become known, and has a more upbeat, electric undertone to it.

“It was an interesting conversation with my producer, Jim Abbiss, as I said I’m very excited by dance music.

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“The stuff that was real and raw is very human even though its electronic. I got very interested in trying to recreate that organic music with the rhythm and pulse of dance music.

“Jim said if you want to do that, you’ve got to commit to it. You can’t go halfway and change your mind, and I’m really pleased that I went for it.

“I think there’s enough sonic possibilities to try out a few more things before I settle back on blues and folk, which I sort of feel it’s inevitable that I will. I will end up in a rocking chair with a pipe and a guitar I think!”

She wrote the album after taking time out from music with her new husband, the drummer in her band Luke Bullen, to travel to the Arctic, South America and India, and has found that her song writing now has a broader scope.

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“My songs were entrenched in personal experiences and relationships, but I’m finding more and more now that it’s much more diverse,” she explained.

“Like for Tiger Suit I was imagining a location for each song, and a fictitious story for each place.”

Despite a three best selling albums and a hat full of awards, she has remained very much the approachable lass from Edinburgh, and now has her eye on a new challenge.

KT said: “I wanted to act for many years. When I was about 15 I was hell bent on becoming an actress. I was 15 when I picked up a guitar. I was very excited by the idea of being my own person and being my own boss.

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“But I think it would be really liberating to assume a character. I can’t see myself doing that musically, but maybe there will be some acting in the future.

“I had my first acting role last week as a ginger bearded frontman of a folk group! It’s for a programme being made for Sky Atlantic involving some friends of mine, and it was so much fun, so maybe I will look out for some opportunities in that direction.”

For the meantime she will be doing what she does best on the guitar, with a packed out Leamington Assembly.