Three years ago, NME gave Tom Odell’s debut album ‘Long Way Down’ a rare 0/10 rating, describing his aggressively inoffensive piano pop as “three parts Ben Howard, five parts Adele, four parts Keane, eight parts Florence and 500 parts Marcus Mumford’s arse” after he won the Brits’ Critics Choice Award and, later, was on the notoriously wuvvy-duvvy John Lewis Christmas advert with the randy penguin and the kid.
During his set today at 5.45pm, crowds could have chosen to see The Last Shadow Puppets, John Grant, Vessels, Dancing Years, Disciples, and many more weird and wonderful acts and events being brilliant and compelling across the whole site. But thousands of human beings chose to watch Odell at the Other Stage of their own free will – so we went to see if, in 2013, we were wrong about Odell. If, in fact, we should reconsider. Here’s everything redeemable about his set that we can think of.
1. He was wearing a natty open shirt and Ray Bans
2. The first time he tried to get the crowd clapping it didn’t catch on and it was endearing
Come on guys, we have all been there. No? Just us? Exactly.
3. He shouted “LET’S GO FUCKING CRAZY” at one point
The irony was pleasingly resounding.
4. There was a cheetah banner behind him
We don’t really know why. We wish it was a leopard, though, so we could use that phrase about leopards and spots.
5. The juxtaposition of Odell and the Lemmy tribute sign above the Other Stage was interesting
What would Lemmy have thought of this? We enjoyed thinking this thought.
6. He was louder than we expected
7. He didn’t play anything from a John Lewis advert
8. He’s had a haircut
9. People were singing along and having a good time
This was nice. It’s nice when people enjoy themselves.
10. His piano was shiny and you could see the sky’s reflection in it
You could see the clearer skies approaching while watching him and this was a good thing.
11. His bassist looks a lot like Kaiser Chief Ricky Wilson
Was it, in fact, frontman of Kaiser Chiefs Ricky Wilson?
12. He isn’t a fan of Brexit either
“The past few days have been pretty shit,” he said, “but there’s so much love here.”
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13. He’s good at doing that ‘glissando’ thing with a piano
You know, the thing where they slide over all the keys and it sounds really pro.
14. He went to watch his percussionists play
It was a bit weird, but we dug it.
15. He introduces his bandmates, but not all at once
This gives them the attention and respect they deserve.
16. He got down into the photo pit
This requires energy and human warmth, both qualities we approve of.
17. He wished us a good weekend and said “good night, god bless” and it was kinda heartwarming
Thank you, Tom Odell, for being kinda heartwarming!