Review: Tom Grennan at O2 Guildhall, Southampton


Tom Grennan's return to Southampton was perfect. It is no surprise that Tom Grennan is noted as one of the best male singers that Britain has to offer

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Tom Grennan‘s triumphant return to Southampton was nothing short of perfection. Swapping the 200-capacity Joiners for the nearly 2000-capacity Guildhall allowed Grennan to be taken to where he belongs – the big stage. It comes as no surprise that this gig was sold out well in advance of the show with the Guildhall filled to the rafters with devoted fans.

After an elegant performance by the spectacular Elli Ingram, Tom Grennan took to the stage. Clutching nothing but his acoustic guitar, lights dimmed and ‘Sweet Hallelujah’ was belted out by the Bedford-boy. Not even I was prepared for the sheer volume the crowd produced when they cried the chorus.
Not too long after and the band embarked onto the stage ready for popular track ‘Royal Highness’ taken from his recent release Lighting Matches. This song set the bar for this night’s performance. It had everything: fantastic light show, Tom’s iconic voice, backing singers and dancers as well as a band who’s energy levels matched that of the man himself.

Soon after, the title track from ‘Lighting Matches’ rang out to the packed-out Guildhall crowd. The immeasurable energy of Grennan never ceasing as he bounced from the left of the stage to the right. Pure excitement poured out from the crowd as the next song ‘Barbed Wire’ began. This was clearly a fan favourite, with the crowd singing almost as loud as the PA systems played in the venue.

Grennan took time between every few songs to interact with the adoring crowd. He seemed overwhelmed by the reception he was receiving on the night and continued to thank the fans over and over again for being there and checking out the new record (Lighting Matches).

After some more hits such as ‘Run In The Rain’ and ‘Sober’, it was time for the main event. Tom’s biggest solo hit to-date, ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’. Nothing could really describe the goosebumps I felt when the song kicked in. The crowd erupted into a screaming frenzy before giving Grennan a voluntary hand in singing the choruses with him. The Guildhall was rocking from start to finish of the hit single.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and the band and Tom left the stage. “One more song” was rocketed throughout and soon enough Grennan reappeared just as he started the night – acoustic guitar in hand with dimmed lights. After a slight mishap with what song he was actually going on to perform, the 23-year-old brought down the house with what he has described as his favourite every track in ‘Little By Little Love’.

Next up in the encore was ‘All Goes Wrong’, a single he was asked to feature in for Chase & Status. This was not the Drum and Bass original, oh no, this was Tom Grennan at his finest. Much slower than the original version but also much more emotional too. I never wanted the song to end but it soon did; not before Grennan treated the fans to one more song though, ‘Run In The Rain’. He requested that the crowd sing back parts of the song to him, but I do not think he was really expecting the crowd to take over both the first verse as well as the second and the choruses as well – in fact Grennan seemed a bit thrown by this fact and had to compose himself before absolutely belting out the final notes to the song. This just solidified the idea that he is one of Britain’s finest musical talents right now.

Tom Grennan’s return to Southampton was a landmark. Not only does it show the growth the singer has made in such short time but it also highlighted just what he is capable of. The performance was magical, exhilarating and just down-right epic. I still get goosebumps thinking back to it now.

You can hear Tom Grennan’s latest single ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ below.


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Psychology student at UoS.

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