Suffice to say Tom Odell’s recent trip to the States has been nothing short of successful. For a bit of a recap, there was Tom’s US television debut on David Letterman last week (so good Letterman basically mentioned he’d manage him), there was the filming of a new music video, and a stint of sold out shows including this one at the world famous Troubadour in West Hollywood. The young Odell is definitely doing all of the things to make it right on this side of the pond. Along with his three-piece band, Tom Odell took to the Troubadour’s stage on Tuesday night with a little more strut than his debut in LA at Bardot earlier this year in January.
After a crowd warming stage intro from KCRW’s Jason Kramer, and getting a cover of Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” off his chest, Odell and his band ripped into “Hold Me” (from his Songs From Another Love EP) with an almost unexpected tenacity, a dynamic that would carry on as the theme for the evening. We were at a rock show and Tom Odell was like some sort of musical Jedi, wielding ‘the force’ as he pleased. More present in his performance were the roots and blues influence that have inspired British rock and roll since the days of Stones vs Beatles. Less present were any preconceived inclinations towards the likes of, most notably, Chris Martin. Don’t get us wrong, the influence is there, but imagine if Chris Martin had put together an entirely different band and went down a completely different path after Parachutes. Throughout the set, the classic blues and soul emphasis continued, so much so that Odell even performed a stunning cover of “Oh! Darling” from The Beatles’ later ‘return to their roots’ years.
Performing new songs from his anticipated debut LP, Long way Down (expected this summer), and even with a guitar at times, Tom Odell ran through new tracks like “Sirens” and “Grow Old with Me.” There is a distinct quality and limit to Odell’s vocal tone and range, and like every great vocalist he is comfortable enough with these boundaries to deliver any challenging line with instinct, natural diction and power. In good spirits that night, Odell made light of a small equipment snafu and shared commentary before rolling into songs. “Another Love” closed the set with an interesting approach to the bridge. Jedi captain Tom Odell was in control, perched in attack at his piano and preparing the world for the storm of Long Way Down about to land on June 23rd.
Tom Odell (Facebook)
Reviewed by b3