Despite apparently being at the cusp of losing his voice, Grennan gave an unforgettable performance.
Bedford born musician Tom Grennan rose to fame at the latter end of last year following his collaboration with drum and bass giants, Chase & Status, on their enormously successful track, ‘All Goes Wrong’. At just 22, Grennan has had a great response on the EPs that he’s released so far and sold out the majority of the dates on this headline tour, including the 1,400 capacity venue, KOKO, in Camden. Even before the doors were set to open at The Old Firestation in Bournemouth, people were queuing down the street in anticipation for the evening ahead.
The support act was 19 year old singer-songwriter, Lily Moore who performed a super chilled and stripped back set with just a piano, and alternating between the acoustic and electric guitar. She commented on the fact that it was her first time touring, not that it was at all obvious, as she seemed very comfortable on the stage showcasing her effortlessly smooth vocals. Amy Winehouse can definitely be said to be an influential artist in Moore’s soulful music, her song titled ‘If Amy Says It’s Alright’ potentially being a direct reference to the late artist. Moore announced that the track, ‘Not That Special’, would be her debut single, and following such a beautiful set, I’m sure the audience will be looking forward to hearing music from her soon.
When the time came for Grennan’s set, the crowd definitely seemed ready, having been very lively whilst waiting, dancing to all the songs on the pre-set playlist. ‘I’m Coming Out’ by Diana Ross was the chosen track for the band’s entrance to the stage which was very literally the perfect choice. As the opening guitar riff to his latest single, ‘Royal Highness’, played out, Grennan sauntered onto the stage and joined the audience with the dancing before coming in with his strong vocals. Considering he’d had a “heavy session” the night before – as he mentioned in our interview earlier on – he was as full of energy as ever and seemed thrilled to be back on stage for another gig. The audience was encouraged by Grennan to sing along, although they took little persuasian; people seemed to know the words to all of the songs that he’d already released and were certainly not shy about joining in. Even the unknown songs from his forthcoming album were extremely well received by everyone. After five nights of touring and no doubt several post-gig “heavy sessions,” Grennan commented on the fact that his throat was beginning to fail him, though you would never have guessed. His raspy voice seemed to have no issues with some of the more vocally challenging tracks and it was one of the most lively shows that I’ve ever witnessed.
Crowd favourites seemed to be ‘Praying’ from his second EP, the acoustic version of his Chase & Status collaboration, ‘All Goes Wrong’, and a solo version of his song ‘Sweet Hallelujah’. Throughout the gig, Grennan was constantly interacting with the audience and casually chatting as if we were mates. This really emphasised how grounded he’s remained, and the fact that he’s taken the time after every gig on this tour to meet everyone is clearly highly valued by his fans. Grennan is obviously someone who truly loves what he does, and this was certainly part of the reason why this sold-out show in Bournemouth was so wonderful.