Tom Grennan. Powerful voice. Powerful presence on stage. Audiences were in for a right treat when Grennan played the O2 Academy Leicester recently. The rising superstar has been touring his album, 'Lighting Matches', across the UK and even as far as South Africa. He also performed a 'Live Lounge' session for BBC Radio 1 a few weeks ago and received a lot of praise for his cover of Ariana Grande's 'God Is A Woman'.
In Leicester, he captivated the audience, capturing hearts right away with his soulful voice and energetic performance. He puts everything into his live performances, and you could really tell! Before he even reached the stage at the sold out gig, audiences were vying for a glimpse of him. Some people stood on chairs at the back and others crouched by the right spot at the balcony to see the intimate show.
Tom Grennan's gig proved an excellent way to spend the Friday night, especially as his voice is
outstanding. Seeing him live is pretty special too. He opened with 'Sweet Hallelujah' which introduced everyone to his brilliant talent. He also played his other uplifting songs 'Sober', 'Make 'Em Like You' and 'Royal Highness', among others.
He seemed very happy to be in Leicester [and the Bedford lad even pronounced it correctly as 'Lestah'?]. Everyone was having fun, especially Tom. He was full of energy and was positively bouncing around the stage. You could see him raising his arms on occasion to encourage the audience to sing his songs back to him. He talked about how he played The Cookie in Leicester a year age-a tiny venue- and was overjoyed to be playing to over 1,500 at that night's show.
The way Tom interacted with the crowd was truly amazing. He high-fived people while singing, posed for selfies with people at barrier and when someone fell ill and had to be carried away, paused the show to ask "Is the girl OK?". There is something so down to earth and heartwarming about the singer and yet he exudes confidences on stage and his voice is out of this world. His debut album, 'Lighting Matches', has sold incredibly well and reached the UK Top 5 in the Album Charts.
The entire show, from start to finish was immensely enjoyable. During the show, Tom switched things up and also played acoustic versions of some songs which had a more chilled out vibe. Looking around the crowd, there were huge smiles on faces. People also turned their mobile phone lights on and swayed them from side to side during these more intimate moments.
Grennan has a unique but very honest way of introducing his songs and said of 'Aboard': "it's a song about being a d*ckhead and then realising you were being one". It's his song so fair enough. He also said that 'Little By Little Love' is his personal "favourite track on the album".
Grennan played his big hit 'Found What I've Been Looking For' to end his set and teased audiences by yelling "I can't hear you!" repeatedly when the crowd sang the opening "dada da da dadadada" lines. He also exclaimed, "Leicester! Let's f*cking have it!" At one point, he referred to Leicester City as "Leicester Town!" but he quickly corrected his mistake, or should I say-the audience quickly corrected him!
The O2 Academy Leicester is situated on the University of Leicester campus grounds and has recently undergone a huge 18-month long refurbishment. The original building has seen the likes of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Smiths and The Jam performing there. The newly refurbished venue is excellent with bars on both the balcony and ground levels. Most importantly, the sound quality is amazing!
During 'Found What I've Been Looking For', Tom took off his shirt and swung it in the air. Just an
example of how much the room was buzzing with energy. Grennan put some of this energy into crowd- surfing while singing! I watched carefully to see how being jostled around in the crowd would affect his performance but the man can hold a note! He sounded flawless.
He then came back on stage to sing two more songs- 'Something In The Water' and 'All Goes Wrong', his collaboration with Chase & Status.
A fantastic performance by an incredibly soulful singer, Tom Grennan's gig was really special and
definitely makes you want to book tickets to see him live again!
"Leicester, I'll be back!" Let's hope so, Tom!