Tuung - Hop Farm Festival, Kent - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Tuung - Hop Farm Festival, Kent

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

With over a two hour delay on the line-up bill, guitarist and singer Mike Lindsay walks on stage sporting a rather dodgy turban, a glazed expression and an understandably pissed off scowl. From not-so great beginnings, Tuung go on to perform a gloriously euphoric masterpiece of a live set. In fact, their show is my highlight of the Hop Farm festival - which is no mean feat given the prestigious line-up of old rock legends like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Ray Davies (who was on at the same time as Tuung, no less) and Blondie, combined with popular acts like Mumford & Sons, Pete Doherty, and Laura Marling. Tuung's set, by the sounds of the response, is the highlight of many people's festival experience. Their brand of electro folk, full of rollicking guitars, dreamy lyrics, and trippy electronic sound-scapes, is the perfect soundtrack to the sweltering Kent festival.

The band play the majority of tracks from their latest album And Then We Saw Land. 'October', 'With Whiskey', and 'By Dusk They Were in the City' are notably good, though the whole experience for me melts into one gloriously happy bopping-around. 'Hustle', their latest single, can't help but be the pinnacle of their set. That song is catchy as hell, infectious as an STI, and so damn breezy and beautiful, you'd have to have a heart of stone and a liver of soot not to dance. The band have a great dynamic, but the main focus on stage lies in the lead vocalist and melodica player Becky Jacobs, whose understated performance - she gently swishes her skirt flamenco-style, while looking alarmingly like a young Björk - is nothing less than charming. Mike Lindsay is the same. Humorously blaming the turban on a heavy earlier night, he seizes the moment mid-song to don a spectacular pair of only-Primark-could-make-them-they're-that-bad comedy glasses, and lunges towards the audience with a foot propped on a speaker, to deliver a guitar solo of embarrassingly Guitar Hero-like proportions, while grinning ear to ear.

The set ends perfectly with 'Bullets', the stand-out track of their third album Good Arrows. Audience and band alike belt out the catchy chorus, "And now we don't remember". The song builds up layer upon layer, from sad, dreamy melodies to rhythmic beats, as Jacobs's vocals become clearer through the sound; the blue and red lights, and the sweaty audience, including a surprising number of young kids (one of whom heckles Lindsay when he put on his glasses) creates a euphoric soaring sensation that ends all too soon.

Walking out of the big tent, grinning ear to ear, we go off to the next artists. Who are they? Oh yeah, Ray Davies and Bob Dylan. Tuung are very aware of this: 'We're so honoured to be in Dylan's back garden' says Jacobs, to which an audience member heckles, 'But Dylan's in your back garden!'. I couldn't agree more.

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Tuung - Hop Farm Festival, Kent - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
Tuung - Hustle
  • 02/23/2010
  • By Rich Morris