Tom Walker first came to my attention when he played the outdoor stage at Barn on the Farm and performed his mix of hip hop, traditional songwriting, electronic elements and gospel sampling by himself.
There were shades of Jack Garratt for me, made the more so by a similar enthusiasm and joy in performance. I was keen to see Tom again, especially as he would be playing with a band. Last Tuesday at The Waiting Room, a charming venue beneath The Three Crowns in Stoke Newington, gave me the opportunity.
Tom took to the stage with a drummer and a bass/keyboard player to support his lead guitar, electronics and vocals. The addition of a band added depth to an already impressive set and took him to another level.
London College of Creative Media songwriting graduate Tom Walker has released his single ‘Fly Away With Me’, a song about escape which teams his heartfelt vocals with a driving guitar, piano and drumbeats. Before that he teamed up with London poet Kojey Radical to incredible effect on ‘Sun Goes Down’, a very modern song that samples a 1930s slave work song, and has shades of Moby about it.
Both songs were sung at The Waiting Room with great gusto and had the sell out crowd singing and swaying to Tom’s first London headline set.
Tom recently signed with Sony and has spent the past few years honing his unique sound, living in a house with 12 other musicians in a soundproof studio. This ability to jam and improvise meant that when there was a technical issue with Tom’s computerised backing he merely picked up another guitar and with real class and a lovely smile treated the crowd to an extra track while things were sorted out.
Tom has spent the year with support slots across the UK and embarked on a 6 date Scottish headline tour in June before playing a number of festival dates across the summer months. All of this was reflected in his growing stage presence.
Having already gained support BBC Radio 1, BBC 1Xtra, Beats1 and BBC Introducing, Tom is an act to look out for. He is currently working on his debut album and on the back of this stand out performance and the new material he sang I can’t wait.