The Australian singer-songwriter brought her latest solo record Love Remains to the UK.
Earlier this year, Tal Wilkenfeld released the follow-up to her 2007 debut solo record with Love Remains. The 10-song collection explores love, loss, and life through a poetic blend of Tal’s lyrics, storytelling and masterful musicianship. In November she then made the trip to this little island to showcase her new tracks and shine bright as a solo artist.
Many will know Tal from her collaborations with the likes of Keith Urban, Macy Gray and Jeff Beck. It was with Beck that she last played at London’s iconic jazz venue. But on this night, the singer returned solo and left the room asking frantically when she’d be back next.
She kicks off her stunning set with the angsty anthem Killing Me and its thick bassline and steady, punching drums which carry the request to be “held but not beholden” which is a concept of romance Tal brings up various times throughout the evening. The idea that love should be comfort and mutual affection rather than putting one another on pedestals.
The following Under The Sun takes the audience on a road trip in a top-down convertible somewhere in the American bible belt. The subtle pedal steel guitar in the background brings it all together alongside Tal’s haunting vocals which are just as captivating live as they are on record, if not more.
She seems to have the whole room enchanted with her voice, her bass and the ease in which she weaves both together.
Pieces Of Me is one of the stand-out tracks of the evening as not only is the song beautiful on many levels and its lyrics relatable to anyone who’s ever been in a relationship that didn’t work out, but also because Tal makes a strong effort to connect with the audience. Which, to none of her fault, doesn’t quite work. When asking if anyone has ever been in love she doesn’t get much of a response. Does this have anything to do with her on-stage demeanor? Most certainly not! Her warm and open chatter just doesn’t seem to what the Ronnie Scott’s audience is up for this evening. It’s without a doubt that in a more relaxed environment this conversation would have gone much better.
But Tal makes the best of it as the bartender nods in agreement to her question. She proceeds to dedicate Pieces Of Me to this lovely bartender and with her charming ways wins our hearts for sure.
Just before she heads off for a quick break before the encore, Tal and her band endulge in an extended cover of The Smiths’ How Soon Is Now? An iconic track to attempt, especially in the UK, but from where we stand we’d prefer Tal’s display of talent with this track over Morrissey’s any day.
Tal Wilkenfeld sends her London audience off into the night with a firework of a finale made up of vocal acrobatics, guitar and bass on fire and a crowd glued to absolutely all of it.
If you had to find one single word to describe Tal Wilkenfeld’s performance at London’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s it would only seem fitting to call it: stunning.