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On Friday 4th November 2016, Tom Odell came to Brighton to perform at The Brighton Centre with support from indie singer Johnny Lloyd and soulful soundhouse Rag’n’Bone Man.
Johnny Lloyd was the lead singer of a band called Tribes for 3-4 years but since the band split in 2013, has gone solo. He released his EP, Dreamland, back in June this year and is doing a string of support slots on a variety of tours, to promote it. This was his first night on Tom Odell‘s tour and he was clearly pleased to be there.
He performed all of the songs from his EP, but in particular, ‘Pilgrims‘ stood out for me – it was a point in the set that got the audience moving – it has a very funky groove to it with it’s guitar sounds hooking you in; it’s clear to see why this was released as a single. The band were fantastic too – I particularly liked the addition of a female bassist – her voice harmonised beautifully with Johnny‘s. If you haven’t already, try to catch Johnny Lloyd on one of his upcoming tour dates with The Fratellis.
Unfortunately I missed a significant amount of Rag’n’Bone Man‘s set as I was off interviewing Johnny Lloyd, however I caught the last 3 songs or so and he was awesome! His voice is so soulful and unique that it offers a certain wisdom and story-like quality, like no other voice I’ve heard. The few songs I did catch were fantastic – they had good beats to them and were made even more interesting with the use of synths/pads, all topped off with Rag’n’Bone Man‘s powerfully melancholic voice. He’s definitely an artist I’ll be keeping an ear out for!
Tom Odell began his performance 15 minutes late, but took to the stage, in a single spotlight, to explain that his drummer had dislocated his arm just a few minutes prior, so they were trying to work out who’d replace him. Thankfully, his drum technician, Graham, was able to step in to raucus applause from the audience. For the rest of the show, there were occasional chants for Graham, and Tom kept thanking him for stepping in to save the show.
The concert was fantastic; Tom Odell showed that his voice is incredibly dynamic and powerful, in equal measure and he has the audience in the palm of his hand. Everyone was singing along to every word, whether it was a single or an album track.
His stage design was simple but effective – he had a projected image, at times, of a cheetah on the back of the stage. His selection of band members was interesting too – obviously he had the usual; a guitarist, drummer and bassist, but I loved the addition of a backing singer (who had a stunning voice) and a percussionist – it added a nice depth to the performance.
One thing is clear, he likes to bring a song to an almost-finish before bringing it back to life, for a second round – he did this on several occasions. However, he clearly knows what he wants to do, as he’d often go round and talk to the band members whilst they were playing (presumably to tell them how long to keep looping sections), so he could maximise on crowd interaction and keep them on the edge of their seat for what he’d do next. He was a really brilliant performer though!
- I loved it when he lept on top of his piano at one point during a powerful instrumental section of a song – it showed his passion for the music.
- The impressive vocal range he showed off during quieter sections of the songs.
- His ability to almost end a song, taking it right down to the quietest point, but then bringing it back into a chaotic but intense instrumental, giving it a second round.
- When Tom came off the front of the stage, up to the front of the audience – great fan interaction!
- “Graham! Graham! Graham!” – Graham saving the show and doing a sterling job!
- His piano playing was amazing and the song he dedicated to his nan (for paying for his piano lessons) was beautiful.
Still Getting Used to Being on My Own
Here I Am
Grow Old With Me
Till I Lost
Finally, I want to say a great big thanks to Thom for setting up this review and organising an interview with Johnny Lloyd (coming soon) and to Tom Odell for his awesome performance – what a great event!
Matt – Muzik Speaks
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