A few years back I received a demo tape from Tom Odell, sent while he was a student at BIMM, hawking his wares, looking for interest. Totally unknown then, but eager to make his way, it was only a matter of two or three years before he had become a name, troubling the music mags with his piano-driven balladry, some of whom thought it abominable, with the NME notoriously giving his debut album 0/10. This didn’t stop him becoming a minor star, said album reaching number one in the charts, his face and music everywhere for a while. Odell was the fresh faced 21st century beacon for lovers of piano-led soft rock balladry, a al Elton John.
As a man who defies his critics, I was excited to see Tom Odell for what would be my second time, the last being after the release of his sophomore album, Wrong Crowd, back in 2016. Odell was due to play the Brighton Centre once more, having performed there previously with support from Rag’n’Bone Man, an artist who has achieved monumental success since. Because of this, I was intrigued as to who would be supporting Odell this time around and was a little surprised when the gig was moved to Brighton Dome, although still excited having already witnessed what a great performer he is.
There are some, whose lack of generosity of spirit is topped up by industrial strength bile, who simply cannot abide Tom Odell, the singer/songwriter. Back in 2013, the NME notoriously awarded Odell's debut album no stars out of ten. That's right, ZERO. In the review, the NME described the then 22-year-old singer as a “Poor, misguided wannabe who’s fallen into the hands of the music industry equivalent of Hungarian sex traffickers”. The reviewer added, “I wish I could say there’s a place in Hell reserved for Tom Odell. There’s not. Just loads more Brits. He’ll be all over 2013 like a virulent dose of musical syphilis”.