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Tom Walker Oc­to­ber 10, QMU, Glas­gow

“It seems that ev­ery other song in the charts is about jew­ellery and clubs and Lam­borgh­i­nis,” said big-lunged singer-song­writer Tom Walker re­cently in re­la­tion to the ap­peal of his mas­sive world­wide hit, Leave A Light On.

A mid-tempo gut-wrencher about watch­ing a friend lose their way to drugs, it has so far racked up sales of over 570,000 in the UK (1.8 mil­lion world­wide) and has reached num­ber one in the iTunes charts in 16 coun­tries since its re­lease back in Oc­to­ber 2017.

Born in Glas­gow, brought up in Manch­ester and a grad­u­ate of Lon­don Col­lege of Con­tem­po­rary Mu­sic, Walker plays this full UK tour ahead of the re­lease of his de­but al­bum What A Time To Be Alive on Oc­to­ber 19.

Pro­duced by Mike Spencer (Years And Years, Rudi­men­tal, Jamiro­quai), the al­bum’s ti­tle is sin­cere, with the 26-year-old aim­ing to make pop with depth while find­ing rea­sons for op­ti­mism in a trou­bled world.

Though he may ap­pear to come from nowhere fully formed, Walker has been qui­etly re­leas­ing tracks for a few years.

Any­thing but quiet though, is his gutsy, grav­elly voice. Com­ing “late to the party”, he only re­alised he could sing af­ter deciding to try out his own com­po­si­tions as he didn’t yet know any­one who might fit the bill in Lon­don. On the al­bum he even shows off his falsetto in Now You’re Gone, a break-up duet sung with Swedish pop star Zara Lars­son.

Walker had first heard Lars­son per­form a ver­sion of her hit It Ain’t My Fault for Ra­dio

1, a track also pro­duced by Spencer.

“Strangely, I didn’t think our voices would work well to­gether, but we have a re­ally nice back and fourth,” says Walker.

He adds: “She’s ob­vi­ously a whole lot big­ger than I am and she’s do­ing her own thing, so it’s very cool she jumped on the track and I’m ab­so­lutely buzzing about her be­ing on my de­but al­bum.”

What A Time To Be Alive’s cover, cre­ated by artist Craig Alan, fea­tures Lars­son and Spencer among the cast of over 2000 peo­ple in­volved in some way in mak­ing the record. “There’s been a lot of peo­ple work­ing on this, and who have in­flu­enced this, no mat­ter how big or small,” says Walker. “The whole con­cept of the al­bum for me was all the peo­ple in­volved com­ing to­gether to make a

big­ger thing.”

Clock­wise from left: Tom Walker; and Tony Iommi, who vis­its Pais­ley Town Hall on Oc­to­ber 12

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