Tom Odell - Night and Day Cafe, Manchester
Casually taking the stage at a packed Night and Day Cafe in Manchester's iconic Northern Quarter, Tom Odell has every reason to smile. Not only is he in the midst of his first, sold out, tour, he's won a Critics' Choice Award at the Brits, announced a new tour (making the leap from tonight's venue to the much larger Manchester Academy) and he's greeted stage-front by rows of wide-eyed females who hang on his every word. His major label debut is out next month. Things seem to be going pretty well.
Odell, barely in his twenties, is already a consummate showman, all ease and friendliness, chatting away in his posh Sussex accent, thanking the girls in the crowd for the gifts of flowers and cards. Easing into the evening with the lovely 'Grow Old With Me', Odell soon lets rip with a splintering rendition of 'Can't Pretend', a show-stopping, star-making performance that shows off his powerful baritone and Elton John-esque piano acrobatics. The worry was that he was peaking too soon, giving it all up for this one song, as he pounded on the piano lid and belted out the lyrics, yet he was to prove to have yet more up his sleeve.
Things slowed down a bit with the soulful 'Sirens' and 'Supposed To Be' from the impending album Long Way Down, as well as a foot-stomping, whiskey-voiced rendition of the Stones' classic 'Honky Tonk Woman' which brought the house down.
In addition to the new songs, Odell regaled us with tracks from his impressive Another Love EP, like the bluesy 'Sense' and beautifully sad 'Stay Tonight' (performed on guitar with the band barely audible in the background) before finishing off with new single 'Hold Me' much to the crowds' delight.
This was a fabulous night out with a born-to-be star on the rise who will never play clubs this small again. Yes, it seems young Tom Odell has good reason to smile.
Set List: Grow Old With Me / Can't Pretend / Sirens / Supposed To Be / Sense / Till I Lost / Honky Tonk Woman / Another Love / Stay Tonight / Hold Me