Brit Award-winning rising star Tom Odell took Gainsborough by storm when he played a special gig at Trinity Arts Centre last night (Sunday 18th March)
The one-off gig was organised by Lincs FM as a rare opportunity to see the sensation up close and personal in a beautiful and intimate setting.
“This is my first time in Gainsborough,” smiled Tom to the titters of the Trinity Arts audience. “But I’m sure it won’t be the last.”
Indeed, there’s a real sense of occasion about tonight. After taking home the Brit’s Critics’ Choice Award at the ceremony last month, this could be the last time to see Tom on such a small stage before he follows in the footsteps of previous winners Jessie J, Emeli Sande and Adele.
“I got back from Texas on Friday where we played three gigs in 24 hours for South By South West,” Tom told The Standard in an exclusive interview prior to the gig. “Then we got off the plane and went straight back to London to perform on Comic Relief on Friday night. The last six days have just been mad.”
Such is the life of the hottest name in British music. It all started when Odell was signed to In the Name Of, an imprint of Columbia Records run by Lily Allen.
“When she signed me, she just said that she wanted to help me put out a record and she really let me just do my own thing and really supported me throughout that,” said Tom. “She gives me advice and stuff, which is great because she’s made some brilliant music and she’s a brilliant lyricist. I love working with people with that.”
With critical acclaim and already being hailed as ‘the sound of 2013’, it seems as if Tom was already won the battle to be heard here in Britain. Does he now have his sights set on breaking America?
“Oh definitely!” beams Tom, shamelessly. “It’s a whole other world that I’d like to break into.”
So next year will it all be Oscar after parties by the pool?
“Oh, God yeah! That would be the dream.”
And that should be quite straight-forward, considering the hype and comparisons that precede him.
“I’m always very flattered by being compared to people like Jeff Buckley but everyone’s a Buckley fan because he’s part of the fabric of what makes great pop - like The Beatles and Bob Dylan.”
There’s a lot of talk at the moment about the resurgence of guitar and folk music, but how does Tom feel about being said to be part of a wave of more credible pop?
“I just write songs and sing them,” he shrugs. “I don’t spend hours analysing the music market. I think there’s some great music out there at the moment from people like Jake Bugg and Haim, and people just listen to what they want to hear and the Radio seem to be playing some really good music at the moment.”
And indeed, after that all that was left was for Tom to let the music do the talking, and tonight it told Gainsborough the tale of a young talent more than worthy of a little superstardom.
From the powerful, haunting melancholy of Another Love and the ghostly swoon of Can’t Pretend to a raucous and thundering cover of The Rolling Stones Honky Tonk Woman to the spirited and pounding of recent single Hold Me, Tom and his band, in the highest of spirits, showcase why he’s destined for world domination.
Remember where you were when future legend Tom Odell played the sleepy town of Gainsborough.
By Andrew Trendell
- For MORE photos of the show, see Thursday’s Standard (available 21st March)