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Following the release of his debut album, Lighting Matches, in July and appearances at festivals across the UK and Europe throughout the summer, Tom Grennan has taken to the road this October for his headline tour.
His uniquely gritty voice was catapulted into the mainstream two years ago by his collaboration with Chase & Status, All Goes Wrong. Since then he’s released three EPs and the most recent of which, Found What I’ve Been Looking For, has seen its title track reach 32 million plays on Spotify and become a festival favourite.
In the aftermath of his biggest summer yet, we joined him as he returned to O2 Brixton Academy, his hometown, for an evening he promised us would be “not a gig…a show”.
The crowd loves him
From Grennan’s very first song, Sweet Hallelujah, the audience was singing along with every word. After his solo acoustic introduction he kicked it up a notch with Royal Highness, and from then on it was impossible for anyone to stop dancing.
Without a doubt the pinnacle of the evening was the closure of the main set on Found What I’ve Been Looking For. During this song it was, at times, hard to hear his voice over the sound of thousands of fans singing his words back at him, and this energy was absolutely contagious.
The man can sing
Tom Grennan’s voice is absolutely incredible; it’s powerful and gravelly and raw. Every song is performed brilliantly and sounds fantastic, from the slower acoustic tracks to the up tempo ones, where he sounds both completely in control and full of emotion.
The album sounds epic
Playing alongside live strings and brass, every song sounded like an amped-up version of its recorded version. The performances are vibrant and dynamic and the instruments add an extra element of depth to each track. They also add to the sense that this is an occasion, and not just any regular gig.
The energy didn’t let up
Right the way through he was running around the stage, seemingly in awe at the size and enthusiasm of the crowd in front of him. His liveliness was reflected right back at him, with everybody giving their all throughout the show and with no stale moments at any point.
This meant that the crowd was absorbing his energy, and vice versa, leading the show to its peak with Found What I’ve Been Looking For – a song which it’s unlikely a single person in the room didn’t know the words to.
He loves what he does
In a heart-warming interlude between songs, Grennan talked about just how grateful he was to be standing on stage doing what he does; how this was the best show he had played to date; and how he fully intends to come back next year – bigger and better.
Based on what we saw, we don’t doubt it in the slightest.
Tom Grennan continues across the UK until the end of October. For more, head to Ticketmaster.co.uk.