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22nd February 2017

Live: Tom Walker

Tom Walker’s energetic performance at Manchester’s Fallow Café leaves the audience feeling they have witnessed something special, writes Amy Matthews

3rd February at Fallow Cafe


Tom Walker has only released a few singles in the past few months but has gathered a mass of followers. With over 1.3m monthly listeners on Spotify and increased recognition from Radio 1, it is clear why Tom’s five-date debut tour has sold out.

Tonight, the last night of the tour at Manchester Fallow Cafe brought the triumphant journey to a close. The crowd is full of friends and family, making it a pleasurable homecoming for Tom, who was raised in the city.

His entrance to the stage is brought by roars and cheers from the crowd eager for his set to begin. Despite being yet to release an EP or an album, his selection of songs are well received by all in attendance. He begins his set with ‘Rapture’, a loud, punchy song that captivates everyone in the room.

After thanking the crowd for selling out both the night and the whole tour, he then beams into ‘Fly Away’, showcasing a melodic riff which beams escapism and longing. Shortly afterwards, it is followed by ‘Home’, an upbeat track with subtle reggae vibes (no wonder the crowd are dancing in tune).

It is clear tonight is a celebration for Tom: the beers are flowing and the crowd are roaring for more. After a short chat about his latest prized possession, a guitar named Pete that he bought on Gumtree, he uses said guitar to play new song ‘Blessings’. This soulful track clearly has the audience hooked, but Walker’s raspy voice shines through, echoing the likes of Paolo Nutini.

“Counting our blessings, as we’ve got friends to lean on”, sings Tom, mirroring the atmosphere of the friendly, happy crowd. This is then followed by fan favourite ‘Play Dead’, where many phones appear with audience members singing along with Tom, who is throwing himself around the tiny stage, his raspy voice screaming “I can’t stand the TV screens”, echoing the worlds current state of affairs.

‘Karma’, a song that is clearly made for much bigger stages, shortly follows, with the front row clearly enjoying themselves and throwing themselves around. ‘Just You and I’, a previous Radio 1 Track of the Week, follows soon after, resulting in the audience singing in joyous harmony, bodies swaying to the beat.

‘Be Myself’ appears to be a new track, with Tom hinting at a new 4-track EP soon to be realised. The set draws to a close with the penultimate fiery track ‘Sun Goes Down’.

The crowd bellows “one more tune, one more tune”, with Tom replying: “if I had one more tune I would play it for you”. After tonight, it is clear that Tom Walker’s songs are built for larger stages. Leaving Fallow Café it feels like we have witnessed a real star in the making.

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