The Mancunion

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Live: Tom Odell

The blonde-haired beauty performs at the O2 Apollo.

By

11th February 2014

The O2 Apollo

9/10

Squeezing through the milieu of couples to have invaded the O2 Apollo, I had low expectations for singer/songwriter Tom Odell, best known for his debut Long Way Down to storm the official UK charts last year.

As a predominantly electronic listener, I had prejudices about the ‘acoustic rubbish’ I was about to endure – honestly I expected Odell on a stool singing ambiguous lyrics surrounded by a demographic of swooning thirteen year old girls. I could not have been more wrong.

The show was expertly put together show from start to finish. Covering a variety of his numbers from tearjerker Another Love to an acoustic cover of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games he recently performed in BBC One’s Live Lounge, Tom gave a passionate performance that showcased his incredible ability as a pianist and a performer. The Apollo’s dramatic backdrop of red drapes was the perfect setting for performances such as that of Can’t Pretend, where the stabbing minor chords and the frantic swinging of Odell’s blonde hair brought an air of theatricality that allowed the songs to translate to a bigger venue.

Of course there was the odd girlish heckle of “I love you Tom!”, to which Odell courteously replied “I love you too” but  his stage presence is what really glued the whole show together. He fearlessly took command of the crowd and shortly had everyone singing along to a new song he had been working on, despite no one knowing the lyrics.

Ending with a showcase of the band’s musical talent in an extended improvisation session that made you feel like you were sat an underground Jazz club as opposed to the Apollo, Odell has certainly raised the bar in terms of Indie live performance.