Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018

Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018Tom Walker @ o2 Institute 23 March, 2018

It’s been thirteen and a-bit months since I last watched Tom Walker live, then he was playing at the lovely but very intimate Sunflower Lounge. A lot can happen in thirteen months and this is definitely the case for Tom, the most noteworthy of things being his latest single Leave a Light on, racking up a more than the slightly impressive figure of 50 million streams (just on Spotify too.)

The set opens with his now three-piece band (up from just one last time, fancy!) playing Be Myself. When Tom walks onstage there is a great cheer, the crowd are excited and they are expecting a big show. It doesn’t take long to realise they are going to get what they want. His unique voice and guitar riffs are exactly as I remember. Tonight is going to be a good one.

By the time we hit the third song Tom took a moment to talk about something that had crossed my mind at least twice by this point; he doesn’t even have an album out yet! The song Dominoes is off the new album which we are promised will be released in September, here’s hoping.

There is a noticeable shift in excitement and expectation when Fly Away with Me starts, it’s already ‘classic’ Tom; soulful, honest lyrics and catchy as hell. Everyone is singing along and Tom’s feeding straight off it. It’s a special few minutes in the set, it’s smiles all round.

As we move further through the set, more of Tom’s personality creeps out. We are introduced to his newest guitar ‘Barry’, the replacement for ‘Pete’ who met his demise thanks to an airport runway and a baggage truck. RIP Pete. The crowd love this little glimpse of Tom’s character and this is in part why every date in the UK as well as those in Germany, Italy, France and Belgium are all sold out. All without an album (did I mention that?)

Just You and I is dedicated to Sophie and Alastair, it’s been picked for their first dance song (all together now ‘ahhhhhhh’) and it’s all a bit lovely, the couples are pulling each other closer and it just further confirms how much Tom’s lyrics reach out to people.

The set is ended unsurprisingly with Leave a Light On, it had to be. The room is washed in mobile phone lights, singing and huge smiles. It’s no surprise this song has the figures behind it that it does.

I leave hoping it won’t be another thirteen months until I get to watch Tom live.  I am also very aware that it’s unlikely I will catch him in an honest sized venue like this again.

Setlist:

Be Myself

Heartland

Dominoes

Fly Away with Me

Cry Out

Sun Goes Down

Karma

Blessings

Just You and I

Play Dead

Rapture

Angels

Leave a Light On

Photographer/Reviewer: Marc Osborne

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