TOM GRENNAN // ST. LUKE'S AND THE WINGED OX

Grennan proved he is worth the hype with a charged performance of his tender, bouncing, indie pop and glorious support of a wothy cause

TOM GRENNAN PERFORMING AT GLASGOW’S SAINT LUKE’S - 01.08.2019
PICTURE BY: STEPHEN WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★☆☆ (3.5/5)

Tom Grennan is like a freshly released jerk seasoning in the spice rack of pop. Over the summer, the 24 year old has toured hard and with recent razor-sharp reviews, it’s no wonder he has been tipped to go huge. In 2016, Grennan’s smooth indie pop began to catch wind as he features on Chase and Status’s track ‘All Goes Wrong.’ Last year he released his first album Lighting Machines which charted high in the UK and caught him a large fan following. Now, still peeling from his scorching performance at the roasting 2019 TRSNMT festival, Grennan returned to Glasgow to play a sell out a show it the soulful, converted church venue, St Luke’s and the Winged Ox.

The night was thrown in celebration of world IPA day and saw Grennan, himself, release his own larger 'Grennan's'. Proceeds from the evening went to Drake Music, an organisation dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent people from accessing a creative expression, and Solving Kids Cancer.

Amongst his support for the night was the beautiful and bubbly Scottish pop act Be Charlotte. I have been lucky enough to catch this pint-size explosion of sunshine on numerous occasions in the last year as she filled her calendar with performances, both supporting and feature sets. Be Charlotte songs are bright, self-empowering and delivered with gusto. Be Charlotte is a grafter; she is touring schools and museums to spread her bubbly songs. Her set had more energy than any performance I’ve seen from her before. She floated about the stage with ease. Her performance was upbeat and celebratory, however, it was flustered at the beginning and her lyrics became muffled due the pace at which her dancy-pop forces her to sing. Her best are slowed down numbers like ‘Do not Disturb’ where the beauty of her voice and lyrics are on full display.

Be Charlotte set a brilliant atmosphere of care-free enjoyment; just perfect for Grennan’s to come and show the full house what he is made of. He stormed out to the stage with the energy of lion just released and greeted his crowd with genuine warmth and appreciation and, of course, the Scottish fans gave it back to him in bucket loads. He started with anthem ‘Sweet Hallelujah’, a brilliant choice for a dramatic opening and a track that clearly displays his vocal prowess. The gritty, gravelly lows to his voice trickled through the song like honey. Grennan instantly proved he needs no vocal editing to sound amazing.

He played the energetic ‘Royal Highness’ and then the seducing track ‘Make ‘em Like You’ which was dolloped with allure and playfulness. Grennan is living sex appeal and his charm is undeniable. However, Grennan proves he is not just there to sell his look with darkly emotional track ‘Praying’ and the cinematic ‘Sober’ where his powerful control of his voice stuns the audience. The best display of his talent was poignant number ‘Something in the Water.’ This transported the listener from their surrounds and in to a haze of this laid back melody.

Grennan covered the Amy Winehouse heartbreaker ‘You Know I’m No Good’ shortly before closing the set. This track is one that suits his style and tone of voice, however, it let the set down. It was performed with none of the suffering that Winehouse wrote into the track. Grennan sounded as though he was using this song to cheeky excuse for behaviour instead of expressing it’s painful depiction of honest self-deprecation.

The night was finished on high with the boppy track ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ and the crowd, who had been instructed to party by Grennan left happy and sweaty.

Grennan is all set to take off. His tracks are very current but also his style somehow manages to be unique in a saturated genre. If he keeps going is the direction he is, the he is set for massive success.

SETLIST: | TOM GRENNAN : SAINT LUKE’S, GLASGOW - 01.08.2019

  • Sweet Hallelujah

  • Royal Highness

  • Make ‘Em Like You

  • Praying

  • Sober

  • Barbed Wire

  • Something in the Water

  • Little by Little Love

  • You Know I’m No Good - (Amy Winehouse cover)

  • Found What I’ve Been Looking For

REVIEW BY: | KATRIN LAMONT
PHOTOS BY: | STUART WESTWOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

Katrin Lamont