2013 sees the return of folktronica sensation Tunng, a six-piece based in London with an absolutely colossal sound. Returning to the scene with new concept LP “Turbines” after a three year gap since previously released album “… And Then We Saw Land”, the band launched into a new set at Liverpool’s East Village Arts Club, featuring tracks from their June release amongst material spanning eight years of writing.
Tunng are amongst one of the most interesting bands currently touring the UK, firstly due to their expansive range of material covering five albums, playing venues that many would consider too small for them, and secondly due to their current setup and live performance. For a band to be playing shows so small with such a large discography behind them, this was one of very few opportunities that one can engage in such an enormous show in such an intimate setting.
The band launched into a show quite unlike any other; an eclectic stage setup featuring the use of percussive instruments ranging from seashells to keys (not keyboards, actual keys), alongside samplers offering a variety of sounds, alternating between ambient noises and snippets from various films created a sound so expansive and bizarre, yet so incredibly clever; you’re left questioning what genre defines this band. Comparisons can be drawn between Metronomy and The Invisible in terms of the quirky electro vibes, yet at the core Tunng offer so much more than the stereotypical folk group.
Of all tracks performed, those that particularly stood out were “Jenny Again” (“Comments of the Inner Chorus”, 2006) and “By Dusk They Were in the City” (“Mother’s Daughter and Other Songs”, 2005). “Jenny Again”, a soft, entrancing, yet lyrically menacing track really captured the essence of what Tunng’s music is all about; lush harmonies from both male and female ranges and beautiful guitar lines, with that curious use of a sample so odd, yet so fitting to this piece.
“By Dusk They Were in the City” seemed the most out of place in the set – entirely instrumental, this track truly complimented the range of sounds that the band can produce, particularly in a live setting. Audience engagement peaked during this, with one monstrous guitar solo fittingly being saved for the closing moments of the show.
Unfortunately the Liverpool date was the second-last of their 2013 tour promoting “Turbines” – next time they come around, I strongly suggest you check them out, as this was definitely one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing so far.
Tunng recently completed a European tour and are in the closing stages of their UK tour.
“Turbines” was released through Full Time Hobby, and is available on LP, CD and MP3 formats.