He’s signed to Lily Rose Cooper’s (Allen) label, has made his TV debut on Jools Holland and supported Jake Bugg. The ivory-tinkling troubadour, Tom Odell spoke to Marie Westmoreland about his musical influences, the tour and plans for the new year.
Reviewing Jake Bugg was on the agenda for the evening but first I had secured a chat with one of his support acts, Tom Odell.
The 21-year-old piano-man from Chichester has been likened to artists such as Jeff Buckley and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
His debut EP Songs From Another Love, released by Columbia, has struck a chord with fans, including one of the UK’s top designers.
Burberry chose his heartfelt track, Another Love, as their sound track for its Spring/Summer 2013 runway show during London’s Fashion Week earlier this year.
Meeting in a chic hotel bar, in Newcastle, ahead of his performance at Newcastle 02 Academy 2, Tom with his tousled blonde hair and casual attire appeared slightly phased by the fine dining setting.
As he settled at the dinner table, he said: “I don’t think I have ever eaten in anywhere this posh.”
As a “favour” for his tour manager, I had pre-ordered his food – a gourmet burger, chips and a peppermint tea.
Considering we had just met (and that I had my mam in tow), he welcomed us both, relaxed and ready to chat.
Well-mannered and instantly likeable, he tucked into the impressive offerings from the kitchen (which warranted a photograph for Twitter).
Clumsily using his knife and folk, he confessed: “I’d normally pick this up to eat,” before revealing a big secret – that he had been booked to play on Jools Holland.
He said: “I’m doing Jools Holland which is going to be amazing,” before pausing and saying, “I don’t think I am allowed to tell you that – but I can’t wait.”
His first tv performance of Another Love aired on Later with Jools Holland this week.
Musically he is inspired by two piano greats, Elton John and Billy Joel.
He said: “I listen to a lot of music from Elton John and Billy Joel. The Strangers is my favourite Billy Joel song.”
“Cat Power, is really good too and I’m influenced by a band called Beach House and Rodríguez, his music is incredible.
“Palma Violets are cool, I’d like to see them live.”
Inspired from an early age, he began to learn the piano aged 7, after his grandma bought him lessons and began writing aged 13.
Being part of Jake Bugg’s sold-out tour has seen Tom play across the country in a number of big cities.
He said: “Leeds was good at the Cockpit, we just got a great reaction there.
“It seems the further North we go the better the reaction.”
With only fifteen minutes to go ahead of his show Tom was calm and revealed he doesn’t get “nervous” before continuing with some tour stories.
He said: “The tour has been great, Jake is cool and Findlay who are another support, really like to party.”
“We are staying in different hotels though. We’re are in the Malmasion which is lovely, they have upgraded our rooms to suites which is really nice, and Jake is in a travel lodge.”
“I don’t think they realised how fast he was going to take off before they booked it.”
When asked about his involvement with Burberry’s fashion show. He said: “It’s been great because so many people have heard Another Love who wouldn’t have done if that didn’t happen.
“It was amazing exposure. Burberry have such a huge following throughout the world, so it’s an amazing way of reaching so many different countries and people, so I’m so grateful for that.”
Asking him to imagine life as a really famous musican or having a celebrity status, he said: “I don’t know if I’ll ever be a celebrity. A famous musician? We’ll see how it goes.
“I haven’t felt a hint of fame yet.”
Laughing, he said: “I can see myself as a pin-up, with posters on teenage girls walls, I’d like that.”
Looking to the New Year, he said: “My single is out in January, then we are going to America, to do some shows in LA and New York.
“I’m going to play in Troubadour club (in West Hollywood). It’s a really famous club where all the British artists go over and play for the first time, so that’s like a dream come true.”
Following this he will return to the UK for a headline tour in February and hopes to play Glastonbury in the summer. He added: “I’d love to do this forever.”
Watch out for tour announcements on his website www.tomodell.com