Tunng gig at the Purcell Room

Tunng on stage at the Purcell Room
My first time seeing Tunng live, their 100th gig, (Meg’s 5th time seeing them so a good percentage for her) and it was absolutely incredible (now i know why Meg keeps going back!). Since they were recommended to me not long ago, if I haven’t been looking them up (their website has some good links to video clips etc) I’ve been coming across them everywhere. In their media appearances they’re being really branded in the folk camp…
Tunng at Green Man in 2005 video
… and yet they are so much more: heavy electro beats lay the ground for this folkish guitar lead narrative, with 4 of them lending their various (1 female, 3 male) gorgeous vocal sounds and a rich and diverse texture of percussion. But not necessarily narrative – they opened the show with a 5 minute ‘drumming session’, not that there was even one full drum kit on the stage but whatever their instrument they struck the beat; what a brilliant way to draw in the audience, focus peoples attention, and get over those nerves!

I get the sense that they have more to attribute to trip hop like Massive Attack than folk, and love this directionality so much more. Their most recent album “Comments Of The Inner Chorus” (2006) seems predominantly more folky, but now I hear it again, I’m noticing it’s all still there – the bass beats and samples and sound effects, but I want them to be louder, I want to feel them! Which is why you must see Tunng live, for a totally uplifting experience. In fact in some instances really they were playing anthems, like Arcade Fire’s anthemic sound… perhaps sit-down anthems (though i would have been standing if I could have!).

On “mother’s daughter and other songs” (2005), I have just discovered much more of the electronic beats and samples that I so loved in the live show and I hope their next album picks up this emphasis again. It’s like samples are the “found object” of music, and this is the point at which folk electronica has arrived at. I can’t finish without mentioning Adam (?), who Tunng brought up on stage to take them in yet another direction altogether, as he played out some crazy dance beats/almost heavy metal vibes on his toy synthesiser! This feature of their show demonstrates just how prepared they are to try (and succeed in) something a little unusual and best of all, that they don’t take themselves too seriously.
The band Tunng’s website

This review is also published on Last.fm


Kale So we got Kale in our veg bag again this week! What a funky vegetable! So CURLY!!! I really had no awareness of this vegetable before living with Martha who regulary fed her tortoises with Kale. This sturdy squeeky green thing is really something to touch and behold. And eat of course. This weekend I found this wicked Japanese dish to put the Kale in, on a very nice food blog called Simply Recipes – one of the better examples of food blogs, though the design is deceiving, cos it feels like a communal blog but its actually just one person/family bloggin. Anyhow, here is the recipe link, give this a shot!
Kale with Seaweed, Sesame and Ginger Recipe

Martha Tilston gig at “small world party”

Martha Tilston gig at 491 gallery
I suddenly decided at the last minute to go hear Martha Tilston play at an event called “small world party” at 491 gallery in Leytonstone last weekend. When i realised how close Leyton is to Clapton it just felt silly not to go, so I cycled over there. Turns out it isn’t that close, I spent rather too long cycling down the scarily uninhabited Orient Way (A1006), but it was well worth it! The 491 gallery, in a warehouse type building backing onto the A12, was a warm and welcoming place to turn up at alone on a Sunday night. This event was like an indoor winter festival – everyone was chilling out with mugs of tea or beers, positively post-party come-down mode, all huddled up together on the floor – or passed out on the sofas. But Martha Tilson and The Woods got everyone up and dancing in no time, with their fabulous contemporary folkish music. Everyone happily got in the groove of standing up for the lively songs and sitting down where it was appropriately mellow. I saw Martha play for the first time at The Scala in December and was equally impressed, but the highlight of this night, was her brilliant cover of Portishead’s Glory Box, which she totally made her own.