Singer-songwriter Tom Walker, with support from The Beach, blew the roof off of Norwich Arts Centre last night at a sold out show.
The night began promptly with a supporting set from The Beach. A decent amount of people had arrived in time to catch his set, which is always nice for the support act that already has the tough job of warming up the crowd.
He performed a variety of his original tracks, which on occasion echoed that of Ben Howard, especially in his recently released single ‘Toxic Love’ – which he performed with such effortless grace.
His stage presence seemed natural, and his conversation with the audience came with ease, often managing to get the audience laughing.
The set was completed with popular single ‘Thieves’ which had the crowd cheering and clapping along as the track picked up pace. As it drew to a close, he was met with substantial applause which he absolutely deserved.
Having heard a few of The Beach’s tracks previously, it was fantastic to see that the artist behind the name is equally as talented live. Personality is equally as important, and it’s fair to say that through a combination of his music and stage presence that he’s an extremely likeable and relatable musician which will undoubtedly see him go far.
After a short break between sets, it was time for Tom Walker to take to the stage. It wasn’t long before the interval music and lights dipped and the band took to the stage starting up before Tom himself walked out met by cheers from his eager fans.
The set was opened with ‘Be Myself’. We were thrown straight into his performance as this punchy, guitar driven song pounded out of the speakers. Tom was on immediate form, despite having suffered from food poisoning the night prior, bopping from side to side and belting out the lyrics to this song.
This fed seamlessly into ‘Heartland’, an equally irresistible track that you just couldn’t help but dance to. With the support of another guitarist, a keyboardist and a drummer, it was impressive how easily they packed such a huge sound into such a small and atmospheric venue.
Throughout the rest of the night we were treated to more of Tom’s singles, such as ‘Blessings’, ‘Sun Goes Down and ‘Play Dead’ whilst also being treated to some new songs like ‘Cry Out’ and ‘Dominoes’.
The set was expertly put together; transitioning from the upbeat tracks into some more laid back and relaxed songs. His raspy vocals pulled off every song with ease, only improving on the studio versions of his songs, bringing to the table something special that just can’t be found through listening to his music online.
Throughout the gig, he seemed completely blown away by the fact that it was sold out, thanking the crowd throughout, stating how even food poisoning wouldn’t stop him from playing the show.
Tom is a really humble musician, which only makes him more likeable to his fans. Seeing his face light up every time fans applauded and shouted praise just made it that much more special.
If you’re in doubt about whether Tom Walker is going to make it, which if you’ve seen him live or heard his music you shouldn’t be, then you just need to take a look at the fans in the audience. They sang back all the lyrics to his songs adoringly, even lighting up their phones for his encore song ‘Angels’.
Despite not having the largest back catalogue of music, his repertoire is packed full of songs that are well composed, thought provoking and either catchy and upbeat or super relaxed and laid back.
If you haven’t seen or heard of Tom Walker yet, then you should take a few minutes out of your day to give his music a listen, or even go down to one of his shows. Already having been spotted by the likes of BBC Radio 1, it’s only a matter of time before he’s performing on much larger stages.
Review by Danielle Booden.