Tom Grennan performing his Lighting Matches Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Saturday 24th March 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It was an expectant crowd last night at a packed Rock City that waited patiently for Tom Grennan, a major artist to watch in 2018 with a sold out UK tour, some massive singles under his belt and backing from BBC Radio 1, to grace the stage.

With his debut album, Lighting Matches having its release date mysteriously put back again until July, it was touch and go as to whether this crowd would know any of the words to the songs. But he need not have worried too much as each of his songs from a very short set list was sung back at him by this sold out crowd.

Grennan jumped onto the stage after his talented band had taken their places and went straight into new song Sweet Hallelujah, an instant crowd pleaser that saw his soul filled vocals immediately warm up the audience.

From a fourteen song set list, eleven were new songs from his twelve track album. But this did not deter the crowd from having a sing along. Lucky Ones revealed his sentimental side as he urged his fans to light up their mobile phones to illuminate the venue, thus producing a particular cinematic feel as the sweeping melody filled the room.

Giving It All was a popular track from his EP, Releasing The Brakes and was an obvious crowd favourite, as he used his great ability to work the stage and the crowd. Without doubt his charismatic and deeply endearing persona is a particular enjoyable element of his live shows, but it is his delivery of his songs that showcased his groove, and soulful voice.

He delivered excellently penned lyrics paired with striking vocals, none more so evident as he quickly ramped things up with the splendid Praying. His current single Sober was well received and he blasted into Abroad, a tune which epitomises his big sound. He then treated the already euphoric audience to arguably his most recognisable song, his version of the Chase and Status collaboration, All Goes Wrong.

Finishing with the killer track of the night, Found What I’ve Been Looking For, which was backed by jazzy instrumentation, filled with swinging chaotic riffs and thumping beats.

Back on for the encore, Something In the Water, his most streamed track on Spotify, Grennan showed off his vocal talent but unfortunately such a short set had this crowd definitely wanting more.

With his charm and outgoing personality combined with his diverse vocal range and talent, Grennan is one to watch out for. If you want some groove, together with a pinch of soul and a large amount of banter, he should be on your radar. His indisputable stage presence will no doubt see him playing larger venues the next time around. He just needs to get that eagerly awaited album out there.