THERE aren’t many things that can better a warm summer’s evening in the English countryside.

But on Saturday night in the heart of deepest Cheshire, singer songwriter Tom Odell managed to add an extra drop of magic.

Thousands flocked to Delamere Forest to see him perform alongside support acts The Beach and Rae Morris as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live series of concerts.

The 24-year-old former Brits Critics’ Choice Award winner took to the stage just as the sun was slowly setting behind the rolling Cheshire hills and his harmonious, soaring voice fitted the scene perfectly.

Holding the audience in the palm of his hand he serenaded them with ballads ‘Another Love’ and ‘Grow Old With Me’ before creating a hush across the forest as he performed ‘Real Love’, the John Lennon cover that became a Christmas hit last year when it featured in a John Lewis advert.

But far from hiding behind his piano, which he played with a deftness and poise beyond his young years, Odell leapt about the stage with a passion and verve that revealed a artist who revels in live performance.

His voice is haunting, soulful and deep and one which echoes Van Morrison but with shades of Jeff Buckley's heartbreak and raw emotion too.

A mixed audience, comprising ardent young fans as well as families with children and more senior music lovers, suggest his broad appeal and he successfully held each and every one enraptured.

The Delamere Show was his sixth of seven Odell is due to play as part of Forest Live, his final show taking place at Cannock Chase Forest near Rugeley in Staffordshire this weekend, and the bucolic setting suits his style perfectly.

The Forest Live gigs provide all the ingredients for an idyllic summer evening - scenery, song and a sensational atmosphere – and Tom Odell proved a very fitting choice for its repertoire.   

Find out more about Forest Live here.