WITH a debut album that helped him achieve international success, and the release of his second album ‘Wrong Crowd’ earlier on this year, Tom Odell’s ‘No Bad Days Tour’ was sure to be a tour not to miss.
The first support of the night came from London-based artist The Beach – also known as George Morgan – who provided simple but warm melodies and acoustic goodness. He creates a big sound for one man with his guitar (and keyboardist) but he manages to fill the entire venue.
Next on stage was Rag’n’Bone Man who has gradually been rising to fame within the last year thanks to his music being featured on TV shows such as New Blood, Poldark and Orange Is The New Black.
Armed with a skilled backing band, Rag’n’Bone Man – or Rory Graham as he’s also known – has a deep and soulful voice that instantly grasps your attention, although his stage presence is somewhat shy.
He sings a collection of new songs such as ‘Ego’, ‘Skin’ (which he says will be his next single “hopefully”) and the touching well-known single, ‘Human’, which is well-received by the eagerly-awaiting audience of Odell fans.
Soon it’s time for Tom Odell himself to take to the stage, the same very venue he played three years ago, but this time he’s suited and booted. He starts his set with the jazzy “Still Getting Used to Being On My Own” followed by ‘I Know’, taken from his album ‘Long Way Down’.
It’s clear the audience is a mixture of fans that have been around since his enchanting debut album in 2013 and a selection of newfound fans attracted to the catchy pop tracks of this year’s ‘Wrong Crowd’. The album sees him challenge a pop-electro sound unheard of in his debut album, but overall his songs have a much more mature style.
The title track has the audience echoing back the lyrics “I can’t help it, I don’t know how, I guess I’ll always be hanging round with the wrong crowd”. The slow-jam and long drawn out ending of ‘Concrete’ encapsulates completely, whilst ‘Can’t Pretend’ has an astounding energy to it
Tom Odell in Manchester was bloody brilliant, his voice sounds even better live as if that's possible ??? pic.twitter.com/vB0umqQ0Xh
— Pottsyyyy (@_pottsy98) November 10, 2016
Half-way through the set Odell takes a breather to address the formidable news overnight that Donald Trump is set to become the next president of America. He says: “I’d like to dedicate this next song to all the people that choose love over bigotry.
“Quite honestly I really mean that, it’s made me a little bit soppy but I’m often criticised for being too soppy but here it is, this song is dedicated for all those who love over hate every day of the week.”
Before playing the tender melodic piano notes of ‘Constellation’ he adds: “Although he is now the most powerful man in the world, he’s still a ****”, which receives great cheers and laughs from the crowd.
‘Hold Me’ and ‘Another Love’ rouse the audience into peak-energy before Odell leaves the stage to return for his four-song long encore. The heartfelt ‘Till I Lost’ makes a welcome appearance, followed by the instantly-memorable ‘Here I Am’ before ending his set with ‘Magnetised’.
It’s hard to deny Tom Odell’s talent for writing a catchy, unforgettable song, and even though he is significantly more stylised in terms of sound and image nowadays, his charming character will always win over the audience either way. With theatrical staging and an endearing persona, Tom Odell’s next stop can only be arenas.
By Sarah Goodyer