Ever since coming to prominence with a show-stealing performance on Later With Jools Holland in 2004 with Black Horse and a Cherry Tree, KT Tunstall has released several popular albums, built a solid reputation as a performer and has written songs about love and human fragility that have connected with millions of people around the world.
It was no surprise, then, that in opening Lichfield Festival’s 2019 programme her concert was a sell-out.
More than ably supported by a drummer and bassist, who also provided background vocals, much of the material came from her latest release, Wax, with older songs from the best-selling Eye to the Telescope also proving very popular.
The set started with It Took Me So Long To Get Here, But Here I Am, with a country music-like backing and singalong choruses.
Newer songs such as Little Red Thread and Human Being, with their more overtly pop/rock sound, were also well received, as were slower, more melancholic songs such as the ballads The Other Side of the World, The Night that Bowie Died or the brooding Dark Side of Me.
KT Tunstall also paid tribute to her many musical influences, such as Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie, with a highlight of the set being the one cover – a passionately delivered I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty.
However, the biggest ovations were saved for Black Horse and a Cherry Tree – which started with looped guitars, vocals and hand percussion, before the band joined in for the final chorus – and the concert closer, Suddenly I See.
With startling clarity to her singing and a relaxed manner on stage, honed from years of working in folk clubs around the world and playing in far bigger venues, it was no surprise that she excelled at delivering songs with a message that many of the audience would have been able to relate to.