Tom Odell @ O2 Academy – 13th February
The ‘better late than never’ theory was put to the test last night when singer-songwriter Tom Odell finally got round to play the O2 Academy. In October the Brits Critic Choice 2013 winner had to cancel the show last minute due to illness, the sold out crowd gained from their patience as he has grown into the role over the past few months, no longer that timid figure on stage he even has his name in lights on stage like some Vegas supremo.
For a musician with just one album to his name Odell charmed his way for a solid hour and a half packed with emotive pop songs and joyous chorus’ with showmanship. Opening with an a-cappella version of Long Way Down blending seamlessly into the chaotic Hold Me, you knew you were witnessing something special.
Throughout the set Tom worked the crowd like a pro, smoothly enticing them with stories, offering pleasantries about their clapping, if you didn’t buy into this pop stars genuine generosity you must be dead inside. The set was flooded with highlights as all but one from his debut featured, as well as a handful of promising newbies and a rendition of Etta James’ I Just Want to Make Love to You. Sense was delicately delivered whilst singles Can’t Pretend and I Know had their chorus’ sung by the crowd.
As the show climaxed the new Prince of Pop looked reluctant to leave the stage, his adoring fan-base didn’t want to see him go either but it was getting late and they had to be up for school in the morning.
It looked like a star in his prime, I have the feeling that he has a lot more to give.