Tom Grennan tweeted the day of his sold out show in Leeds that he had gone down with the flu, begging his fans to bring him some homemade soup to help cure him. Many followers must have worried that they wouldn’t see him at his very best, but another tweet promised fans that he was determined for the night to go ahead.
Support from Everything is Imagined, an indie-pop duo, warmed the crowd up nicely for Grennan, before Elli Ingram delivered her unique sound with tracks from her debut album Love You Really – the two acts were perfect support and really set the stage for Grennan.
As Grennan entered the stage armed with an acoustic guitar, the sold out 02 Academy erupted. Beginning with a solo performance of ‘Sweet Hallelujah’ it appeared Grennan was just warming up, before belting out ‘Royal Highness’ with his band in full swing. It did not take long for the crowd to get going as Grennan encouraged them to sing along, to which they responded by singing every last word of pretty much every song Grennan played.
It is fair to say that had he not mentioned his illness, nobody would have known. A few vocal cracks simply added to the rawness of the gig, and if anything, only made the crowd sing louder. The first part of the gig flew by, as he played favourites such as ‘I Might’ and ‘Sober’.
Grennan soon came on to his most popular track ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’, a track so catchy it has made the FIFA sound track and is used on Sky Sports Super Sunday, and the crowd were definitely up for it. After playing through the song once with the crowd singing the whole thing back word for word, Grennan decided to play it again. To relive the magic. He did not disappoint, as again, the crowd had no problem in letting him know just how much they enjoy the track.
The gig seemed like it couldn’t get any better, until after a heartfelt rendition of ‘Little by Little Love’, when Grennan stated that he only had one song left, before hinting that there might be one more, much to the crowds joy. He cracked on playing another crowd favourite ‘Something in the Water’ before seemingly finishing. But then, as he spoke to the crowd and thanked them for such an incredible night, he apologised for “bottling this one earlier”, before continuing by delivering an emotional performance of ‘Run in the Rain’.
This alone was enough for the fans, but he didn’t stop there. Enjoying the atmosphere so much, Grennan went on to finish with ‘Patience’, a song from his previous Release The Brakes EP. This concluded with the building erupting with applause, as fans showed their admiration for Grennan who had battled through his illness to deliver the performance of a lifetime.
People who managed to see him at the 02 Academy witnessed something special, and intimate nights like this may be hard to come by in the future, as he is destined for the biggest of stages.By Joe Daubney