Tunng – Heaven

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Why this gig?

Because Tunng are wonderful and everyone should see them as often as possible.

Support

I hadn’t heard of Pinkunoizu before. But I was impressed as soon as they started. It’s a strange mixture of surf rock and krautrock. It shouldn’t work but it really does. I’ll be checking them out further – starting with their latest album.

Headline

As soon as Tunng take the stage there’s a mystery. Their usual female vocalist, Becky Jacobs, is missing. Her place is taken by another woman. It’s forty-five minutes before we’re told that her name is Gris-Gris and “she’s been playing with us for a few weeks”. But there’s no explanation of what happened to Becky (Update: I later found out that Becky couldn’t be on this tour because of other work commitments).

It’s only a few months since I saw Tunng at the Lexington and not much has changed. The set list seems very similar and the band are, if anything, better than they were three months earlier. They play a good selection of songs from most of their albums and Gris-Gris ensures that Becky isn’t missed too much.

For the encore they are joined by founding member Sam Genders who leads them through “Woodcat” and “Bullets” while skillfully avoiding the giant balloons that are bouncing around Heaven over the audience’s heads. It’s a couple of years since Genders left the band, and I’ve seen them three times in that time. On two of those occasions Genders has joined them for the encore.

Tunng – Lexington

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Can’t find any video from the night, so that’s from a few days earlier.

Why This Gig?

Because Tunng are fantastic and I see them whenever I can. You should  too.

Support

I didn’t realise until the afternoon before the gig, but the support were Conquering Animal Sound. I’ve seen them before a couple of years ago (coincidentally, also at the Lexington) so I knew what to expect. I can definitely see the connect to the psychedelic folky vibe of Tunng and friends, but there’s also more than a drop of Bjork in there too. They are from Glasgow and don’t seem to get down to London that often. But given how much I’ve enjoyed both the performances that I’ve seen, I’ll definitely be looking out for them in the future.

Headline

The last time I saw Tunng was at the Forum in Kentish Town. The Lexington is a far smaller venue so this gig feels a lot cosier. This show (or, more accurately, the similar one they played the previous night) is the first time Tunng have played together for two years and it really looked like they were enjoying themselves. They have a new album, called Turbines, to promote and this was the first time they had played most of the new songs live. The new songs were scattered pretty evenly through the set and they stood up really well against the older, better known, material.

A lot of the audience were clearly big fans of the band. Old songs were applauded after only a couple of bars and many of the new ones got a cheer of recognition too – not bad for an album that has only been out for a few weeks. Towards the end they started taking requests from the audience and that led to some of the evening’s best performances with “Soup”, “Woodcat” and the final encore of “Bullets”.

Tunng have been missing from the scene for far too long. It’s great to see them back. They’ll be back in October when they are playing at Heaven. I’ve already got my ticket – I highly recommend that you get one too.

There’s a page for this gig on Setlist.fm, but no-one has filled it in yet.

Reviews

The mainstream’s music reviewers seem to have missed this show completely.