‘I’m Sick of Singing About My Broken Heart’ – But, oh boy Tom, we are not.
When I was younger I always played covers, and had lessons on the piano. However, after a few years I had fallen out of love with it. After seeing Tom Odell four times now, I believe he has truly revolutionised the way we see the piano.
The Brighton Dome welcomed the man himself: Sussex born and bred, Tom Odell.
Following the release of his third album ‘Jubilee Road’, his website has a dedicated page exploring the fictional road itself. A video of the singer shows him wandering around his living room, sharing his memoires alongside sentimental objects. These include a Ben Folds’ piano book he received when he was 14 and a monumental message from Elton John, written on an album cover, left in Tom’s dressing room after their show at the Roundhouse. It read:
‘From one artist approaching the finishing line to another at the starting blocks, you have come a long way in a short time, well done. Keep playing live and the sky will be the limit.’
Whilst strolling around his living room, nostalgic feelings were created as he searched through notebooks dating back to a young Tom, aged 16, that he has treated like the ‘bible’ in which he fills the pages with song lyrics.
His lyrics for this third album were written on ‘Jubilee Road’ where they were inspired by all the people he met whilst living there.
On the whole, this album probably includes the most upbeat songs he has written (in melody rather than in lyric), including ‘Son of an Only Child’. It also features a collaboration with the lovely Alice Merton on the track ‘Half as Good as You’.
Having seen Odell many times before, he did not disappoint, and neither did the venue. Although there was a change of location and date, the historic Brighton Dome, as many will know, is a beautiful venue that complemented his wonderful voice and the acoustics.
It was the most diverse range of faces in the audience and by the unanimous sway for his mellow songs, and boogies and jumping throughout ‘Wrong Crowd’ and ‘Magnetised’, you knew everyone had a lovely Saturday evening.
He played a range of songs from across his three albums including tracks that everyone loves; ‘Hold Me’, ‘Another Love’ and ‘Can’t Pretend’. The crowd was energetic throughout and listened tentatively whilst he played piano solos.
His signature blonde mop and Cheshire Cat smile lit up the stage as he jazzed his way through songs, illuminating the power of the piano.
One special moment that is worth mentioning was one of his most loved songs ‘Hold Me’, where he sat down at the front of the stage singing directly to the audience, only to then wander around the edge and tightrope the bannisters of the Brighton Dome. It was a magical moment when the music faded and he sang his lyrics intimately amongst the audience. There really is nothing quite like listening to that song live, admiring his passion and commitment.
He also played a favourite of mine; ‘Piano Man’ originally by Billy Joel. It was lovely to see him cover an old classic that everyone enjoyed as much as Tom enjoyed playing.
He has such charisma on stage when playing alone as well as presenting the close relationship with his band mates that extended out toward the audience, filling the room with energy and love.
His humour is always greatly appreciated, as everyone chuckled including him, whilst he failed to deliver a whistle in ‘Wrong Crowd’. The audience happily intervened and they definitely pulled through.
Tom also twisted some lyrics to make a lovely connection with Brighton. This was where another special instance occurred as Odell was performing ‘Entertainment’ and sang the line “Last night I lost my head, I found it in a Brighton bed.”
These intimacies felt particularly special as the singer revealed he had always wanted to perform in the Dome and that Brighton holds a very special place in his heart.
He further mentioned that this city was where he started his very first gigs with his own songs, and that Brighton is so important regarding his career and that it would not have happened without it. He reinforced what we all know; that this city has a brilliant and thriving music scene like no other.
Tom, believe us when we say Brighton loves you just as much. And for me, you will always be, ‘Another Love’ of mine.