Tom Grennan @ Brudenell Games Room, 16/02/17

It’s rare that an artist manages to completely captivate a crowd in the way that Tom Grennan held the attention of the entire Brudenell Games Room during his performance of ‘Something in the Water.’ He may not have an extensive back catalogue but his short set definitely justified the buzz surrounding the twenty-one year old singer-songwriter.

Acoustic opener ‘Old Songs’ demonstrated the unique way that Grennan’s songs combine frank storytelling with the rich tones of his gravelly, soulful voice. He claimed that he was feeling a bit worse for wear but his bluesy vocals filled the small room and his energy never faltered. Confident and self-assured on stage, you would never guess that this was Grennan’s first headline tour.

His voice took on a haunting edge on tracks such as ‘Lucky Ones’ and his emotive performance demanded the audience’s undivided attention especially during the raw ‘Sweet Hallelujah.’ Highlights came from the flawless delivery of the deeply textured tracks from his Something In The Water EP. His natural charisma complimented his engaging stage presence as he chatted casually with the audience between songs. His excitement about the impending release of soulful new single ‘Praying’ was contagious as he delivered the upbeat new material, accompanied by the chanting crowd.

Closing the set with a stripped back, acoustic version of the Chase & Status collaboration that kick-started his career, the soft musical accompaniment really brought his raw vocals to the forefront. With no unnecessary theatrics, the show was clearly about Grennan debuting his talented voice and captivating live presence to the large crowd that had somehow squeezed into the small venue.

2017 is shaping up to be an important year for breakthrough male vocalists and Tom Grennan looks set to lead the way. 

Lucy Milburn

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