If you haven’t seen Tom Korni, aka ‘One Boy Band’, then you’ve missed out. Because I predict that, one day, anyone who gave him a gig at the outset of his career will find that their venue is forever compared to Liverpool’s Cavern Club where Tom’s lookalike John Lennon kicked off his career.
And, in all seriousness, you need to be seeing Tom Korni soon before you can’t afford a seat. Or even to stand and watch. Yes he IS that good. Better.
Tom’s still just 20 but he’d been pounding the streets as a busker for years before he got to play gigs including Bestival, The Stables in Milton Keynes and at The Troxy in London. He’s even supported Slade, Heather Small and Alexander O’Neal.
But don’t take my word for it. It’s worth quoting a review of that Bestival appearance which you can see online at www.skiddle.com/news/all/Five-of-our-Favourite-Festival-Moments/26492/ where it states:
‘Rob da Bank’s flagship festival always offers up innumerable highlights. From the music to all the bits in between, it’s a glorious festival full of character in a truly laid back atmosphere that belies the size it is.
With the likes of Missy Elliot, Skrillex, Underworld, Duran Duran, Tame Impala and a wicked unannounced turn from party hip hop icons House Of Pain, the main stage packed a serious punch, but the gig that’s stuck with us happened well away from the spotlight, and came from 17 year old one man band Tom Korni.
With no loop pedals, backing tracks, drum machines, and certainly no autotune, the wunderkind set about covering some of the most timeless pop classics, from The Beatles to Pink Floyd, via Oasis and Arctic Monkeys in a way we’ve never seen before.
As a display of technical ability, it was mesmerising, but it was his audience engagement, and the glowing crowd approval that he courted like a rising star that made us wonder just how long he’s going to remain in relative obscurity – we’re guessing not long at all.’
You want more? Well see and listen to him on YouTube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=roG40w0tpII where Tom plays the great Beatles track ‘Something’ is a great example but there are quite a few more online. ‘Genius’ is a term that’s used far too liberally. But he almost redefines it in its most exclusive form.
The reason why Tom uses the moniker ‘One Boy Band’ is because he accompanies himself. As if singing and playing the guitar brilliantly isn’t enough to keep him entirely occupied, he manages to play percussion too and thus generates a better sound than many seasoned and successful bands can, on his own, without resorting to using loop pedals, drum machines, an auto-tuner or backing tracks. So everything you hear is completely live, spontaneous, and vintage Tom Korni.
Let’s put that in context. Julius Caesar, famous for multitasking, could simultaneously read, write, issue orders and ride a horse. Tom Korni’s brand of dexterity makes the legendary Roman general look like a fumbling buffoon. Quite how Tom manages this is unclear, but his brain must be wired rather oddly and (in deference to his lovely parents, who I’ve met) he simply isn’t normal. (The only other musician I’ve seen who can do anything like this is the American harpist Joanna Newsom, who can play different tunes simultaneously. Maybe homo sapiens are taking a giant leap forward with such capacities.)
Tom happens to be a dead ringer for John Lennon. That’s something he is happy to exploit because he is a huge fan of The Beatles, Slade, Oasis and other illustrious predecessors. So he loves to belt out covers of their hits. Yet Tom is composing his own work and one senses that it’s only a matter of time before he comes up with the hit which will start to transform his life and the lives of those around him.
But there is even more to Tom than his music. In an era when so many stars are arrogant and ill-bred, he’s modest to a fault and has developed an endearing line of intelligent patter with his audience. So I can quite imagine him being a regular on talk-shows and the like, but a regular that nobody will have to beep out.
He’s playing gigs now in the area. One on Saturday 13th October 2018 is at The Chequers in Westoning (I understand they do good food there and there’s a beer festival too, but don’t quote me on that please).
Other details of gigs and more (how long before he’s signed up?) are at Tom’s own website at www.tomkorni.com.
One last thing. He’s been spotted by a potential sponsor, an instrument manufacturer. So there may be an announcement soon about that. But what I do know is that it is, if it happens, likely to give the lad a worldwide audience. And sadly that means your chances of seeing him play here in Bedford will decline.
Having said that, he’s likely to always return here. In triumph. So get ready to open a ‘Tom Korni Tearoom’, to operate tours of his old homes, sell T-shirts bearing his image and more. If you went to school with him start writing the memoirs now. I could be wrong. But I have never made a prediction with more conviction. Tom Korni is arriving. But it will be a case of ‘Hello I must be going’. The world awaits him and, sorry to say, Bedford will have to wait in line to share him.