Tom Baxter at Dingwalls
In a sold-out Dingwalls, Tom Baxter slinks onto the stage to the elated clapping of the animated crowd.
Ipswich-born, London-based Baxter is of the earnest, soulful, singer-songwriter variety. Since his self-titled EP was released by Columbia Records in 2004, he has provided the soundtracks for Run Fatboy Run and Inkheart, as well as having Miracle played during the final montage of the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics.
Baxter is on his UK-wide tour promoting (and selling exclusively to the paying audience) his third album The Uncarved Block. The songs are inspired by the singer’s travels in India. Tom is playing acoustically, in a stripped down style with a barebones band consisting of a violinist (Oli Langford), pianist (Danny Keane) and a drummer (Sam Walker).
The performance had its upsides: the band sounded amazing for the small presence on stage; the tonality and poise were outstanding, each song creating a different mood. The crowd swayed and stood dead still in enchanted wonder. Unfortunately at times the singer’s voice was not strong enough to be heard over the sound of the instruments: his voice was loud enough, but the depth was not there to make any lasting impression on the listeners.
Tom Baxter is a good musician who writes complex, captivating songs, Who’s the Boy Beneath the Stone being a high point of the evening (a rhythmically intriguing song that conjured imagines of a taverna). This artist is far superior in the studio, but if you are a fan then it’s still worth tracking this tour down, if only to get a copy of the new album.
Photos: Steve Roche
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