The Madras College Archive
Former Pupil Biographies
KT Tunstall (1975 - )
Tunstall studied at the High School of Dundee in Dundee; Madras College in St Andrews; Kent School, Connecticut; and at Royal Holloway. Throughout her twenties she mostly played in independent bands including Elia Drew and Tomoko, and focused on songwriting. Her debut album, Eye to the Telescope, was released in late 2004. Tunstall's style of music varies from folk to pop. In Edinburgh and St Andrews she played in a band called Red Light Stylus who were regarded as one of the better bands to emerge from the limited Fife scene.
Tunstall's first appearance of note was a solo performance of "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on Later with Jools Holland. The performance was notable as she had only twenty-four hours to prepare after scheduled performer Nas cancelled due to his father's ill health. Her performance caught the eye of many viewers, upstaging more established acts such as The Cure, Embrace, and The Futureheads, and she then went on to top the post-show poll on the website for that episode.
Shortly after the "Later" appearance, Eye to the Telescope
was re-released, and shot up the UK charts, eventually peaking at three
(on its first release it had entered at seventy-three); it was nominated
for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize. It was released in the U.S. on February
Tunstall co-wrote the song "Under The Moonlight" (in which
she sings) with Scottish band Travis for their new album The Boy With No
Name, released on May 7, 2007 (see the album's article).
She ended 2005 on Hogmanay by performing at Edinburgh's Concert in the Gardengs alongside Scottish band Texas, being broadcast on BBC Scotland's Hogmanay Live show also. During her concerts, Tunstall uses an AKAI E2 Headrush loop pedal on stage, which she affectionately calls "Wee Bastard".
She performed live
in New York's Times Square on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve for New
Year's Eve 2006.