You can buy a maximum of 10 tickets for this event
Event InformationThere are two major things that – in some strange, unlikely way – paved Tom Grennan’s way into music: The Kooks’ 2006 single ‘Seaside’, and an incident that left him hospitalised for several days.
Born and raised in Bedford, the 21-year-old’s childhood was a fairly typical one. He played football, went to school, got a moped at 16 and “was cruising with that for a bit.” Aside from an MP3 player his mate’s brother loaded up with grime, music was never a big part of his life growing up. Until, that is, he had a little too much to drink at a party, and demanded that everyone listen to him performing ‘Seaside’ a cappella. “I was just going around like, ‘Oi, listen to me…’ just being an annoying guy,” he says now - but his performance, bolstered though it may have been by a generous dose of Dutch-courage, was clearly impressive. His friends, unaware before that night that he could even hold a tune, roped him into joining their A Level band, where he discovered an untapped knack for performance.
Without that, he says, there’s no way he would have ended up performing. But it was something altogether more traumatic that prompted Grennan to turn to songwriting. At the age of 18, a group of strangers attacked him on the street. He’s inclined to play the incident off casually – “just wrong place wrong time I think” – but it left its mark, and not just from the metal plates and screws he’ll have in his jaw for the rest of his life. “When that happened,” he recalls, “I was in a mad dark place. It hurt me mentally. I had this build-up of emotions.” So he started writing about it. Influenced by the likes of Ray Charles, Kendrick Lamar and Amy Winehouse, he poured his trauma, his pent-up pain and frustration, into songs, “and then I just found I could escape from it. I just loved doing it, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Now, anytime I feel anything, I write about it.”
The first thing he wrote was Old Songs, which has a cheeky, Jamie T-esque charm to its syncopated storytelling. But it was Something In The Water, the title track from his debut EP, that really showcased Grennan’s gritty, soulful vocals. After a scat-like, staccato verse, it gradually builds up to something rapturous: “I can see the light now, as I'm stepping out the door / Well there's something in the water, calling my name.” The song, he says, “was like coming out of the dark. I felt sorry for myself for a minute, but I’ve got to just pick myself up.”
With Something In The Water’s success, the ball was well and truly rolling. Next came a Chase & Status collaboration, All Goes Wrong, which might never have seen the light of day were it not for Grennan’s sheer force of will. After a fruitful writing session, the electronic duo were unsure whether or not to release the resulting song. Grennan, with the unabashed self-belief only a 21-year-old could have, told them, “Boys, this is a banger.” He was right, and a spot on the BBC’s Sound of 2017 longlist shortly followed. Now, there’s no stopping him.
“You only live life once, so you got to make every bit of it count,” he says with an infectious enthusiasm. “I want to put a stamp on my life, and I want to put a stamp on the world. I don't want to be here to be forgotten. [My music is] fiery, it’s real life and it’s passionate. There’s no bullshit.” The name of his forthcoming EP, Release The Brakes, could hardly be more apt. “I’m full throttle now. My foot is on the accelerator and I’m not braking. I ain’t stopping. Simple.”
East Mud Dock
Venue Information:The Thekla is Bristol’s only music venue and nightclub on a boat! From toe-tapping live Americana to the downright dirtiest dubstep this side of London and everything in-between, we have all your musical needs covered. We play host to the cream of the city’s weekly club nights as well as national and international touring live acts every week. Welcome aboard.
The boat itself does not have a box office on board so you can't buy advance tickets directly through the venue; you can however pay on the door - providing the gig hasn't sold out.
The venue operates a strict 18+ policy, unless otherwise stated as a 14+ event. ID will be required upon entry for all 18+ shows - either Passport or Photo Driving Licence will be fine.
Doors for gigs generally open between 7pm and 8pm, but you can give us a call to be sure. Club nights kick off about 10pm and usually run until 3am in the week and 4am at the weekend.
Tel: 0117 929 3301
For accessibility information please contact the venue on 0117 929 3301 or click here.
To arrange an essential companion ticket, please book a standard entry ticket and then email proof of eligibility through to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any of the below are accepted, in addition we will review an application without these forms of evidence on a case-by-case basis.
• Front page of DLA / PIP
• Front page of Attendance Allowance letter
• Evidence that registered severely sight impaired
• Recognised Assistance Dog ID card
• Access Card
Once your request has been received and approved we will email you back with further information as to how your essential companion ticket will be issued