The impressive show was held in the Selfridges venue for the Music Matters campaign.
Anyone who’s brand new to Tom Walker’s music might be surprised to heard that his recent EP, the unashamedly rock’n’roll ‘Heartland’, has Naughty Boy on production duties. The rapper, famous for having worked with Beyoncé on the epic ‘Runnin’ (Lose It All)’, is undoubtedly a fantastic producer – but most music fans might more readily associate him with R&B and hip-hop. Yet the title track bears all the hallmarks of a Naughty Boy-helmed project: Manchester musician Walker’s song is slinky and lush, with an incredibly catchy hook.
The video above sees Walker offer an intentionally more rough-and-ready version of ‘Heartland’. It took place at UltraLounge, a new – and somewhat unique – multidiscipline arts space in the Selfridges department store on Oxford Street. The 360-degree stage comes replete with video screens and projections that bring a truly immersive atmosphere to gigs. This performance was all part of Music Matters, a series of shows intended to raise awareness of the fact that, according to the Music Venue Trust, 40% of London’s grass-roots venues have closed in the past 10 years. Walker is precisely the type of musician who builds a reputation through live shows, so, for him, it’s essential that these spaces are protected. Which is why 20% of profits from Music Matter campaign go directly to the Music Venue Trust.
Walker makes the most of the video screens, which flicker and flash white light in time with the propulsive track. He’s said of ‘Heartland’: “[the song] is about temptation getting the better of you. It’s about life’s hangover, where you wake up the next morning and realise things haven’t turned out as expected and the price you pay. Happens to the best of us.” With fantastic live shows such as this and support from Naughty Boy, the musician has turned that regret into something worth remembering.