Ladies and Gentlemen: Tom Odell is your first act for NS13!
The stages are set up, toilets are being trucked in, and tons of hamster cage wood chips are being spread around Aadalen for us to tread upon Friday. Northside 2013 is ready to go, and the first act to go on is Mr Tom Odell (UK) at 13.00 on “red stage”. The weather looks a bit iffy on my various sites and apps, however nothing of course can stop 25,000 revelers from storming the gates, drinking in a field and listening to loud music.
The opening acts at festivals normally get a shit end of the stick. Not only do they have the pressure of performing first on a cobbled up stage, but also the burden of ushering in the public, who have plonked down a small fortune to get in and buy as many drinks as they can before orienting themselves with the layout of the campus. Then you have the distinguishment of having everyone’s weekend hanging on your performance, and of course the “who the heck is this guy” comments because let’s face it: headliners don’t go on at noon. Shit, headliners don’t even wake up til dark. Our brave man of fortune this year is Tom Odell. I have to say as well Northsiders- he’s the man for the job.
I’d never heard of Tom before I got around to wondering when I should actually turn up on Friday. I’m trying to get dressed for 3 seasons of weather, drink as much as possible until I have to pay 35 dkk for a plastic cup of beer and arrange to meet about 50 or so of my various groups of friends that are going to be impossibly delayed by bathroom trips, wardrobe malfunctions, drunkenness and relationship duties. It’s looking bleak that I’ll make it from town, up the river, around the corner, over the ticket lines, body searches, and wrist band assembly before Tom plays. It’s not Tom’s fault. He might have had all morning to have the sound just right, and his morning tea and the piano stool adjusted just right for us. But where are we?
Tom is from a privileged background. Well-to-do parents, private boarding schools in the UK and New Zealand, piano lessons, and the support and love of his Granny who loaned him her car to drive from the ‘burbs to London and play open mics. Lilly Allen spotted him, he got signed to the biggest record label in the world (Sony) and he won a Critic’s choice Brit Award this year (basically an industry driven to push pump up interest and sales to new artists). All this, and he looks like an angel. Seriously, you better make sure your girlfriend is in the toilet or still walking up the river when this kid sings, because he is one charming looking mensch
The shame of it all is: I doubt I’ll actually make it down to the festival before 16.00 or so, and it’s not my doing anymore, because I actually quite like his music! I was all set to hate it, being that he is so good looking, his family love him, he’s not a junky who gets into fights and hangs out in seedy bars with rudderless geezers, and he has a few awards already without even an entire album to show for it!. His 1st single “Hold Me” is a glamourous shimmering ‘punch the air an shout’ kind of anthemic song about falling in love. I wanna stand in a field and have a lot of my smelly friends with their arms around me singing “Hold me, hold me in your arms”. It’s almost as if Keane, Bowie, and the fractured voice of Conor Oberst hooked up and out came little Tom, in some kind of weird music birth kind of thing. The rest of the material from Odell you can hear on streaming sights really well put together, charming, uplifting. “Another Love” is an epic sounding heartbreak song: “I wanna cry, but all my tears have been used up, on another love”. Whos heart wouldn’t melt to have this guy singing to you, all beautiful and pissed off at these girls grrrr. BAD GIRLS! Stop using up Tom Odell’s fucking tears. He’s dry as hell. Anyway, it’s good music passionate, well composed and arranged, and plenty of room for big festival sing-alongs, if only we turn up to be serenaded.
Do yourself a favor and get down to the red stage for 13.00 to see Tom. It’s definitely a ‘buried treasure’ kind of booking. Check it out, and tell me how it went. Maybe I’lll just ditch my friends and see you just at the rails up front!!! Tell ‘em we sent ya!