Music review: Tom Walker, King Tut’s, Glasgow

While the other Scottish breakout singer of 2019 prepares for his first arena tour, Glasgow-born, Brit Award-winning Tom Walker has chosen the more intimate diversion of the Home Run tour, an acoustic excursion of small venues for the hardcore fanbase in Scotland, each date featuring hand-picked local supports – Be Charlotte and Sara N Junbug did the honours in Glasgow, where there were additional guests in the shape of a string quartet.
Tom WalkerTom Walker
Tom Walker

Tom Walker, King Tut’s, Glasgow ***

Recalling his first Glasgow gig in a café up the street, it was clear that Walker was comfortable in a cosy venue, with the informality that affords. “I’ll play you some depressing songs and we’ll all have a wee cry together,” he suggested, before performing Angels, the first of a handful of off-the-peg ballads from the Ed Sheeran/Lewis Capaldi school of angsty emoting. Like Capaldi, Walker also draws on the earthy gruffness of Paolo Nutini and occasionally added his own bluesy guitar to the standard piano accompaniment while the strings ramped up the sentiment in the background.

There were pre-Valentine’s points to be scored with Better Half of Me and soppy singalong Just You and I but Walker pushed too far, straining for soul on Fade Away and adding some contrived growl to an otherwise straight cover of Adele’s Hometown Glory.

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Along the way, there were shoutouts to his gran and birthday greetings to his uncle, both in the audience, as well as a new song, Wait for You, and a relatively dramatic rendition of his debut hit Leave a Light On. But the main party treat was the encore hoedown Shaking, which added much needed colour to an identikit set.