Video by Toby Sebastian Music on YouTube
"Bringing a fresh take on folk, soul and pop" is the catchphrase on Toby Sebastian’s website. Toby played his penultimate UK tour date at OMEARA London on Tuesday night, where he encapsulated this spirit of his music perfectly, proving without a doubt that he deserves to shine in the spotlight, and has even greater things ahead of him still.
The singer/songwriter and actor from Oxford, whose given name is Sebastian Toby Pugh, is probably best known for portraying Trystane Martell in Game of Thrones. However, his career first started as a musician on a talent show, before he left school to pursue music under a contract with A&M records. While he is better known today for his acting roles, it became clear throughout the night that music is still his first priority.
Opening for Toby was fellow actor Louis Oliver (A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Great); someone who also dropped his famous last name in order to make it on his own in the industry. While Louis’s relatively short solo set suffered from a sound system that could not fully do him justice, his talent as a live performer became evident immediately. And while the partially whispery tone of his performance was not to everyone’s taste, the uniqueness of his voice was undeniable.
Luckily for Toby, the quality of the sound had improved immensely by the start of his set. Him and his three-piece band brought boundless energy to the stage, and gave a wonderful performance throughout. The bassist and guitarist engaged in enthusiastic bouts of synchronised jumping while performing Toby's more high-energy songs, and their joy could be felt radiating from the stage.
Halfway through his set, Toby surprised the crowd with a duet of the song Rusty Snare, as Simone Ashley (Sex Education, Bridgerton) joined him on stage. With the crowd going absolutely wild at this point, the pair of actors gave a captivating performance of Toby Sebastian’s song. Simone, being a classically trained singer, did not only look stunning in her beautifully sparkling dress, but also added a layer to his performance that amplified the atmosphere into something almost magical.
Toby also performed multiple unreleased songs for the audience, before rounding off his set with two fan-favourites that managed to capture the crowd’s particular attention: his song ‘Midnight’, which was originally released in 2021 in collaboration with his sister Florence Pugh (Don’t Worry Darling, Little Women), and ‘Train To Mexico’. Ending his set with a bang, these songs perfectly matched the energy he'd been giving the crowd all night, and which he fully deserved for the crowd to give back to him. Although Toby's upcoming album currently has no release date, the anticipation is already tangible; I am certain it will be a brilliant and emotional project, if his concert this week was anything to go by.
Edited by Lucy Blackmur, Music Editor and Talia Andrea, Editor in Chief