He’s bagged the Brits’ Critics’ Choice Award 2013, whose previous winners include Adele and Florence + The Machine.
Performing at TAB on Aug 28, Tom Odell proved his worth with vocals that could possibly rival that of Adele’s (or so we think). Playing the piano, the singer-songwriter from West Sussex began his 9-song repertoire with his latest single, “Grow Old With Me”, accompanied by drums, guitar and a double bass.
Initially coming off as someone immensely shy, his intensity could be felt by those fortunate to have locked eyes with him. Odell, however, admits to being extremely reserved when he was younger. “I hated singing in front of people, every one had to be out of the house before I sang,” the blonde mentioned during the group interview with UrbanWire.
That, however, changed when he was a teenager because “that was kind of the only way I could get girls to talk to me”, he joked.
Citing Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley and David Bowie as his musical influences growing up, Odell revealed that he’d listen to an artiste for 2 months and then move on. His current musical obsession? Jack White’s plethora of bluesy-rock albums.
Whether consciously or not, the casually-dressed 22-year-old somehow manifested White’s iconic tones and attitude intermittently throughout the set, most notably in “Sirens”.
Heartbreaker number “Sense” showcased his powerhouse vocals, as well as his innate ability to put his entire being into song, his facial expressions channeling pain , and his eyes haunted with the reason why he penned that song. Some fans were on the brink of tears.
Backed up by a guitarist, a double-bassist and a percussionist, most of whom acted as backing vocals as well, Odell had the crowd wondering just what number he was going to perform next. The musicians and Odell were seemingly in sync with each others’ thoughts and actions, both parties knowing exactly what the other party would do.
His passion towards his material was more than obvious when UrbanWire asked about his feelings when his single, “Another Love” topped the UK charts. “It’s not too good to get caught up in charts and ratings. It’s not what my music is about, it’s about the real people that listen to it.”
Ending the set with “Cruel”, a number Odell’s debut album “Long Way Down” released June 24, he left the stage with a simple wave that left the fans wanting more
Photography by Noel Teo