On 24th October 2006 at 12:30 Anonymous 30 wrote...
I was gutted to have missed this through lack of cash, but maybe I didn't miss the best performance in the world from the sounds of it. Still quality band and the album is a real treat.
Live at Faversham on Thursday, 19th October 2006
Back in April, Tunng warmed up for the legendary Vashiti Bunyan and contemporary folk star Adem at West Yorkshire Playhouse. Just six months on and they're back in Leeds having come a long way over that short period of time. The critically acclaimed 2nd album Comments Of The Inner Chorus and eye-catching live performances (which includes been mentioned as one the highlights of this summers Bestival) have pushed Tunng into well and truly into the limelight.
Opening the Twisted Folk Tour double bill is Canadian solo artist Jill Barber who is joined by her electric guitar player. Jill displays her sexy, sweet, seductive and bubbly characteristics, engaging with the crowd and giving an assured performance with her country-tinged, Americana-style folk offerings. Her set is slightly marred by a large section of the audience at the back talking all throughout. Even a cry of "Shut the fuck up!" from one infuriated member of the crowd did little to silence the ignorant hoarders.
Next up, it's tonight's headline act and the newly crowned kings of folktronica Tunng. The room is quickly filling out and not even the fact that synth-pop act Hot Chip were playing to a sold out audience at Leeds Met seems to have had little effect on numbers at the Faversham. Cramped onto the small stage the 6-piece act begin their set to a largely hushed audience, the long-haired, bearded folksters throw down their spellbinding mixture of enchanting folk and acute digital edits. But just three songs in, and the multiple conversations from the minority get back into gear, perhaps an indication that tonight's headline act weren't living up to initial expectations.
Tunng steer through the majority of their most recent album Comments Of The Inner Chorus playing the newly found favourites: Jenny Again, Woodcat, the incoming single It's Because We've Got Hair, and the techno influenced Engine Room among others. Unsurprisingly, they only opt to play the few highlight songs from their debut album including Beautiful And Light, Tale From Black, and Surprise Me 44.
The performance has its fair share of comical moments; around mid-way through the set a toddlers' musical butterfly toy (of a My Tomy nature) was held aloft to the microphone but it didn't seem to be having any impact whatsoever. Holding the toy close to her ear to check it was still working, Becky (the only female member of the band) had a look of bemusement on her face, which instigated the subtle cry from one member of the audience "put it down love, the batteries have run out!" And although I'm pretty sure that she never heard the passing comment, the ineffective toy was cast aside almost instantly. Secondly, during a heavily layered percussive part, the head fell off Mike Lindsay's shaker and whilst he was quick to realise, he still continued to shake the handle for a few moments (much to everybody's amusement).
Despite the pleasant mood running throughout the audience and each song receiving a generous reception, you couldn't help but feel that the London-based act were perhaps too laidback for their own good, it felt like it was just business as usual, and they never really fully engaged with the crowd. And when the band announced their last track only to find that it wasn't their stunning rendition of Pioneers (which I was so desperately looking forward to hearing live) those creeping negative thoughts amplified ten-fold - I mean I can only speak for myself, but I would be lying if I didn't say I felt slightly cheated. Putting their instruments down and getting ready to clear the stage to a warm reception, inadvertently they sit back down and seemingly have a change of heart (or perhaps they were just teasing) but much to my delight they finish with the song they have made their own in the form of Bloc Party's Pioneers. So... having redeemed themselves slightly, I still couldn't get rid of the lingering feeling that Tunng seemed to be performing in third-gear. Overall, whilst it was an enjoyable night, it was hardly the mind-blowing spectacle hoped for.