Review: Tom Walker at Engine Rooms, Southampton

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80%
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Promising

His powerful voice and engaging stage presence makes Tom one to watch this year.

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On Monday night Southampton’s Engine Rooms played host to Manchester’s Tom Walker, who performed an intimate sold out show as part of his biggest UK tour to date. With the entire tour selling out well before its first night, Southampton  marked the second night of what had the potential to be a very successful tour. The show was his first time performing in Southampton, and throughout the set he expressed his gratitude for the number of people showing up in a city he had never visited.

When talking to MTV earlier this year, Walker described his style as “hip hop influenced beats with pop songs bit bluesy on the guitar raspy vocals with a splash of reggae”. Whilst this may sound like an absurd mix, it works, evidenced by his six million monthly Spotify listeners.

The night began with solo acoustic artist The Beach, real name George Mongan, who promised half an hour of lullabies. Mongan’s voice is comparable to Ben Howard, though his material is a little more engaging, and a large following was clear from the crowd involvement he received for his most well known single, ‘Bite My Tongue’. He scattered his set with little jokes and chat with the audience, which made his performance both engaging and personal. Overall, The Beach was a nice and relaxing warm up for Walker’s heavier set.

Despite not knowing all of Walker’s material (like the majority of the crowd), it was a hugely enjoyable set. His voice was incredibly powerful, and he rolled through a strong set list. Whilst his diverse style makes him difficult to compare to other artists, there’s a very Imagine Dragons and Rag’n’Bone Man vibe about him. Unsurprisingly, his most memorable tune from the set was his recent single ‘Leave a Light On’, although his strongest performance came from his unreleased single ‘Dominoes’, which showed the exciting material we can be expecting from Walker later this year. Ultimately, he is no one hit wonder, and I’m excited to hear the rest of the album which he promises will be released some point this year.

Whilst his album is not yet released, check out his latest, and most streamed, single, ‘Leave a Light On’:

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