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Tom Walker is a ‘breath of fresh air’ in his Nottingham performance

It’s always a breath of much needed fresh air when an artist shows their appreciation for their fans, they are the people who allow them to perform on the stages they do and live the lives they have, after all.

All images by Paul W Dixon

So, Tom Walker’s constant thanks and praises to the sold-out crowd at Rock City in Nottingham was very much welcomed and well received.

The supremely talented Jade Bird was unfortunately absent due to album promotion commitments - so support came from Mansfield native Georgie – whose country tinged tunes accompanied by just her acoustic guitar and soulful vocals kicked off the night well, as punters piled in for the main act.

Born in Glasgow and raised in Manchester, why Walkeremerged as the winner of the Brits British Breakthrough Act 2019 was obvious from the beginning of tonight’s show. Opening with Angels (the first track off his debut album What a Time To be Alive) he began backstage as his band took position, with vocals so clean I honestly thought it was a backing track.

Anthemic and crowd pleasing, Angels set the tone for the night to come. With a four-piece band and Walker on lead guitar, they shifted through album tracks My Way and Walk Alone in similar fashion, passionate guitar strumming accompanying roaring vocals to keep the tempo up.

One of Walker’s older tracks Fly Away with Me followed, before bursting into How Can You Sleep at Night, with the drums then being halted for a moment to perform Fade Away, a piano ballad he wrote aged 19.

Now 27, Walker told a heartfelt story about the background of the song and how happy he was for it to make it on the album, a pretty chatty man on stage, he proves a confident and charismatic performer and short breaks of him talking to the crowd every so often are nice to see.

The pace was then picked back up with Cry Out, displaying Walker’s guitar skills as he pierced through a solo, however, he quickly moved onto the drums for a pulsating version of Dominoes, garnering huge reaction from the crowd and providing a highlight of the night.

Blessings and Just You and I (his latest single, currently at number 5 in the UK charts) were fan favourites of the night, with Walker leaving fans desperate for more as he said his goodbyes. He obviously re-emerged for the encore, powering through Not Giving In and arguably his international breakout single, Leave a Light On.

Whilst we all live in a time of political turmoil and worldwide chaos, the title of the Walker’s album appears to be a constant reminder to himself of how far he’s come and what a time is to be alive for him. A diligent performer and proven songwriter, hopefully he sticks around through these times, and has the long, rewarding career he deserves.