GIG REVIEW: Tom Grennan gives Riverside the Royal(Highness) Treatment..
Written by Liam Lillico on 4th October 2017
Having been to more than a few gigs at the Riverside venue, I always worry about the size of the crowd, on my way there: whether it’s going to be a hit or a miss. I’ve been to smaller venues and have those be empty, it can seem really awkward. Thankfully for Grennan, his North East fanbase did not disappoint: packing the place in its entirety, main floor and balcony area too.
A testament to why you should check out the support and openers of live gigs: Lily Moore got the already full audience more than comfortable with her impressive vocals. Definitely a one to watch.
After a what seemed like forever wait between sets: the man himself jumped onto stage after his band took their posts, and went straight into newest single Royal Highness. An instant crowd pleaser, his soul filled vocal immediately warmed up the entire place.
After his two song entrance on stage, Grennan, in his probably deliberate black and white shirt, finally spoke to the crowd with a momentous “whyaye
petal.” Explaining that he was happy to be there for many reasons including the fact he loved Newcastle and the North East, he also went on to fill the crowd in on the fact that he was pretty ill and was as a result: “sweating bloody lempsip, I’ve had that much..”, but was soldiering on through it for his crowd.
Seemingly enjoying talking to his adoring fans, he mentioned finishing off his debut album Lighting Matches and how excited he was to release it next year. Treating the crowd to a song he doesn’t normally sing live all that much, he belted out crowd pleasing Old Songs.
As the show went on, Tom again kept battling through his illness, confessing to almost being sick during All Gone Wrong. (How apt would that have been?..) Audience participation became a welcomed thing for a few different reasons, one being the fact his voice probably needed the slight rest and two, he adores hearing people sing his songs back to him.
Rounding off the soul filled time spent, Grennan himself gushed about the fact his music has been used on the likes of FIFA18. Having seen Tom preform a few different times, across a few different venues, it’s great to see him grow in comfort with the stage and the fact that people want to come and see him in their droves. Each time, seemingly getting better. (Even this time, with the whole illness thing going on: his voice was flawless and unbreaking the whole way through his set.)
Something I’ve noticed through each set I’ve seen from him: is his ever diverse fanbase. Different each time in age, style, sex and so on. There was a mix of older friends out to enjoy his vocal, groups of university students in love with his voice and songs: all there to enjoy the one man. That can only be a benefit which will see him keep on growing before and after his debut album release in March of next year.