WORDS AND IMAGES BY DESH KAPUR
“The soft tinkling of the ivories echoed round the venue as he started the first lines to “Numb” “I hold my hand over the flame, to see if I can feel some pain” and the raw pure emotion that is so distinctive of Tom O’Dell’s voice sent shivers down my spine”
When I arrived at the O2 Academy Liverpool it was packed; a complete sell out. On entry, the thing that struck me straight away, was the span of ages that were here, from young children right the way through to people on the older side of life.
As we waited for Tom, the stage was bathed in a blue light and standing proud in the middle of it was the grand piano, that is Tom’s instrument of choice.
Then the house music stopped, and Tom ODell walked on to the stage looking brilliant, all suited and booted. Trademark blond mop shimmering under the stage lights, and the noise from the packed-out venue was deafening, one of the loudest receptions for a headliner at a gig I have heard in a long time.
Taking his seat at the piano, the soft tinkling of the ivories echoed round the venue as he started the first lines to “Numb” “I hold my hand over the flame, to see if I can feel some pain” and the raw pure emotion that is so distinctive of Tom ODell’s voice sent shivers down my spine. Playing “Numb”, stripped back in a minimalistic rendition added an extra dimension to the song, making the lyrics more poignant and heart wrenching. Halfway through the song Tom’s band walked on to the stage to add a little more texture to the song – it was beautifully spine tingling way to start the set.
“Can’t Pretend” from Tom’s debut and breakthrough album “Long Way Down”, and “Sparrow” from his second album “Wrong Crowd”, followed and as I looked round the room everyone was already captivated, swaying and singing along, he already had the whole venue in the palm of his hand.
“Heal” is next before a truly beautiful cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colours” stunned everyone with its haunting simplicity.
Tonight, Tom played songs across all of his album releases and with only a small band, a grand piano and a spotlight. The simple staging and presentation allowed his truly soulful voice and his storytelling to shine thorough; such beautifully written ballads of love and heartbreak, both haunting and melancholy.
But the track everyone was waiting for was kept for the encore, a song that has had over 300 million YouTube views, “Another Love”. It was as dramatic and intense as expected – it really was the highlight of the night.
Tonight, Tom ODell shone with power and presence and a beautiful honesty. He kept the audience spellbound from start to finish and truly deserves his continuing loyalty from his fans.
2/ CAN’T PRETEND
6/ TRUE COLOURS
7/ STREETS OF HEAVAN
8/ BEST DAY OF MY LIFE
9/ GROW OLD WITH ME
10/ HALF AS GOOD AS YOU
12/ LOVE YOU AGAIN
13/ HOLD ME
18/ ANOTHER LOVE
19/ AFRAID OF THE DARK
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