KT TUNSTALL has played shows of all sizes all over the world, but there is one that keeps a special place in her heart.

A modest, 200-cap venue with an audience is up for it right from the start - there is no beating of that, according to the singer.

It was "totally electric", she says with a sense of heightened excitement in her voice.

Tunstall was speaking during an exclusive interview with The Weekender where she had been extolling the virtues of grassroots shows.

It follows then that her favourite memories - both as a performer and a fan - usually involve more intimate settings.

Here, Tunstall takes the time to discuss her the most memorable gigs in her lifetime...


First Gig, Last Gig, Best Gig with KT Tunstall

The first gig I ever went to… Was The Waterboys at St Andrew’s Union. I was 15 and I was sneaking out at night, getting pi**ed on peach schnapps and climbing through the window of the student union toilets and sneaking into this Waterboys gig. I don’t remember much about it, but I do remember loving it and hearing Whole of the Moon. It was brilliant, I’m pretty sure I managed to get Whole of the Moon before throwing up on Midori and lemonade.

The first gig I ever played… Was The Vic in St Andrews and I just played the backroom – or the Oval Room – and I just sat on a table and ten friends came, including King Creosote. I had a little cassette called The Oval Room and I put the songs on the tape to sell copies.

The last gig I went to… It feels like a hundred years ago, but the last gig I remember going to, clearly, was Jack White in LA, I think. It wasn’t the last one, but the last one I remember really well. It was a pre-album gig and it was the first gig I had been to where you had to put your phones away and it was so brilliant being in a gig with no phones – man, it was really, really cool. And he was absolutely blinding; he’s one of my favourite live acts. He is a total modern icon.

The last gig I played… (As of late September) Was the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on July 31st. It was a full show in one of the oldest theatres in America, with no audience. It actually went really well, and it was done like a TV show.

The best gig I ever went to… My favourite music experience is Glastonbury. There’s nothing quite like it. The stuff that you are not planning on seeing is just as exciting as the stuff you are planning to look at. I was there when Dave the rapper brought that kid up on stage and got him to do the rap and was word-for-word amazing – we just happened to be walking past at the time. In terms of a gig, it would probably be The Pixies on their Doolittle Tour at Brixton Academy.  It was just an extraordinary experience; a masterclass of what you can do with four-minute songs. It was also the loudest show I had been to but not painful – there was real artistry in the sound in the room. It was a complete trouser-flapping experience, but you’re not going away feeling like you’ve been in a car crash.

The best gig I ever played… Would have to be Hebden Bridge Trades Club, outside Huddersfield. Sometimes, the gig you really remember is the convergence of stuff that’s going on in your own life and it’s such a physical release to do the show. It was so sweaty and exciting. And well before we got on stage, it was totally electric. When you are a ‘nobody’ that’s the gig you dream about – everyone chanting, going mental when you come on stage and crying their eyes out when you play an emotional one and just absolutely losing their blobs. It was absolutely brilliant.  It’s really hard to pick – for instance, I’ll never forget walking on stage a Live Earth at Yankee Stadium in front of 65,000 people and doing a Mexican Wave. But it’s all about getting sweaty and get lost in the music with a bunch of strangers in the room. It’s incredible. Hebden Bridge is very much a place I’d like to play again before I die.