Having never seen Tom Odell live before, I went in expecting it to be quite a laid back and downbeat affair. What it turned out to be couldn’t have been more different from those expectations.
Flanked by a band playing everything from the drums to the harmonica, while he spent most of the show by his grand piano, Tom Odell’s live show had a much more rock ‘n’ roll vibe than his three albums to date. It was much like seeing Coldplay live, their recordings being a lot more mellow than the massive rock concerts they stage. It’s safe to say Tom Odell really comes alive onstage.
Opening the show with the title track of his new album, and this tour, ‘Jubilee Road’, the big sing-along chorus instantly had everyone hooked. This made it a great track to start a set that lasted almost two hours and encompassed tracks from all three of his albums, including tracks from his forthcoming new album.
The staging was pretty simple but effective, with the stage draped in very grand curtains that reversed from red to white depending on the lighting effects being used for each song. The reflections of the band against the white curtains looked so spectacular that it was almost more effective than having massive screens with lots of imagery on them.
He started off the set not really interacting with the audience much, with all the attention being on the music. It was when he was introducing a new track ‘Don’t Belong in Hollywood’ that he started getting more involved with the crowd. He joked about this show technically being the “complete” live debut the song after he forgot the chorus the last time he tried to perform it.
It was obvious that Tom and his band were having the time of their lives on stage, what with the impromptu jam session – which involved Tom jumping around the stage and throwing his piano stool across the stage, resulting in a beautiful rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. It’s a wonder his piano was still functioning by the end of the show, the way he was jumping and climbing all over it!
Some of the other highlights of his set included his bigger hits like ‘Another Love’ and ‘Magnetised’ that had everyone singing along and were a nice contrast to some of the quieter, more intimate songs that made this show a perfect fit for a venue like Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.
Many people may criticise the fact that his albums all sound the same but if tonight proved anything, it’s that he was a worthy winner of his BRITs Critics Choice Award and is an electrifying live performer with his own signature style.
4 out of 5
Don’t Belong in Hollywood
Son of an Only Child
Grow Old With Me
Till I Lost
Half as Good as You