Gig Review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

It was an expectant crowd last night at the O2 Institute waiting for one of the current darlings of the airwaves, Bedford’s Tom Grennan. Almost as cold inside as it was out, there was an eclectic mix of punters from many backgrounds, but all shared that palpable sense of excitement for the singer’s performance.

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Support came from Cuckoolander and Ten Tonnes, both whom were well received. Genuine appreciation or just revellers trying to keep warm armed with one or two pints of Guinness from the traditional St Partrick’s night celebrations? Only time will tell for the young hopefuls.

Just after 9, Grennan sauntering on to the stage with the obvious confidence of a man who is a master of his trade, without a shred of arrogance. He started his set with a mesmerizing acoustic version of ‘Sweet Hallelujah’. Breathtaking.

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An obvious hottie to much of the female fraternity within the audience and acceptable bromance for many of the male attendees, he quickly ramped things up with the splendid ‘Praying’, but not before wishing everyone a “happy Paddy’s night” and professing that he was “up for a party” as long as we were.

For one so young and yet to even release an album, Grennan posseses amazing stage presence and a voice that is nothing short of majestic, nowhere more evident than with an acoustic version of Chase & Status collaboration of ‘All Goes Wrong’.

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As a music writer, it’s not often that you are blown away by a singer, but I have to admit I was, completely and utterly railroaded by the pure majesty of the 24 year old’s emotive voice. Adele at the Glee Club before releasing her first single and Jake Bugg supporting Michael Kiwanuka as a 17 year old the notable exceptions. To be talked of in the same breath as these two musical behemoths is credit to the young man indeed. With rasping vocal similarities to Paolo Nutini and the frontman ship of Liam Gallagher and seemingly the older Gallagher brother’s song writing skills, it is only a matter of time before the singer becomes a global household name.

Amidst verbal arm twisting to get his current single ‘Sober’ further up the chart, he blasted into ‘Aboard’, a tune which epitomises his big sound he then treated the already euphoric audience to his signature track ‘Found What I’ve been Looking For’. The perfect closer to the musical celebration.

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Making his way back on to the stage for the traditional encore, armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, his amazing voice and a Ireland top (on the day that they took the Rugby Grand Slam) donated by a partisan member of the audience, he treated the crowd to a magical rendition to ‘Something in the Water’ before coming out to greet his baying fans at the merch stand and ensure that people left the venue a whole lot warmer than when they arrived.

Set List:
Sweet Hallelujah
Praying
Make Em Like You
Lighting Matches
Giving It All
Lucky Ones
Aboard
Barbed Wire
I Might
Run in the Rain
All Goes Wrong
Royal Highness
Sober
Found What I’ve Been Looking For

Encore:
Something in the Water

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One Response to “Tom Grennan at O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK – 17th March 2018”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Myles Kennedy at O2 Institute 2, Birmingham, UK – 17th March 2018 Says:

    […] tickets went in just a few minutes as he is playing Room 2, the smaller venue here – Upstairs Tom Grennan is singing his British Soul tunes to a younger student crowd, in the basement below we have the […]

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