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REVIEW: Tom Odell shows great musical diversity at Thetford Forest show

By Paul Brackley

Tom Odell performing at Thetford Forest. ANL-150607-101844001
Tom Odell performing at Thetford Forest. ANL-150607-101844001

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell showed a growing love and mastery of live performance during his show in Thetford Forest on July 5.

Two years on from the release of his debut album, Long Way Down, the 24-year-old pianist’s musical catalogue shows evidence of growing diversity and promise.

The BRIT Award winner’s concert at High Lodge demonstrated this well, with a mixture of full-band pieces which had the crowd jumping and more ethereal pieces featuring just Odell and the piano, which he managed with enviable skill.

For the majority of numbers his band, including a double bass and two percussion-playing backing singers, joined him on stage, sharing in his enthusiastic performance.

With his blond head visibly following his hands up and down the keys, and sometimes with his whole body leaving his seat, Odell demonstrated an almost virtuosic talent while melding his tenor voice into the chords and melodies.

Can’t Pretend and the powerful Another Love elicited a great reaction from the crowd, while the heavier Hold Me had a vast number of hands clapping and feet stamping - including among the performers.

Contrasting to these louder, more animated songs, in some of which Odell stepped out from behind the grand piano and showed a strong command of the stage, were equally intense pieces of vocals and keyboard.

During these quieter interludes including his cover of the heart-warming Real Love, which featured in last year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, Odell’s voice blended with his accompaniment to devastating effect and revealed a more sensitive side to an otherwise relentlessly animated performer.

With his name shining behind him in enormous golden letters, Odell demonstrated to his audience that he is destined, and ready, for greater things.


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