A copy of my review of Paolo Nutini’s sold out show at the SSE Hydro for The Banter Magazine.
Of all the national treasures that Scotland holds, Paolo Nutini is fast becoming the most loved in the country. His long awaited third album Caustic Love shot to the number one spot back in April, was certified platinum and was also picked as ‘Best Album’ in iTunes’ ‘Best of 2014’. Not bad for a small town boy from Paisley, eh? After cancelling his two sold out gigs at the Glasgow SSE Hydro due to a bout of tonsillitis back in November, fans were devastated. But not to worry, the shows were quickly rescheduled for January when Paolo was back to full health and on the first of his two night residency at the arena, he did not disappoint.
Opening with two singles from Caustic Love; ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ and ‘Let Me Down Easy’ was perhaps a nod to the new sound that Paolo debuted on the critically acclaimed album; more soul and funk than rock and pop. It’s no doubt that this new found groove suits Paolo, the arena was bursting with pride at just how far this young man had come.
He commanded the stage as he continued to belt out songs from the new album including ‘Looking For Something’, ‘Better Man’, ‘Diana’, ‘One Day’, ‘Cherry Blossom’ and the critically acclaimed ‘Iron Sky’ with scratchy vocals that cemented his status as one of the best Scottish songwriters of our generation.
But despite the love for his new sound, the oldies but goodies were still there. He belted out ‘Coming Up Easy’, a reworking of ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ and the toe tapping ‘New Shoes’ before saying “I made it past 27.” A clear nod to the other talented musicians that lost their lives at age 27 including Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain.
Paolo showed that not only is he a singer songwriter, he is still a stellar guitar player and continued to play throughout the night.
It was his four song encore that was the crowd pleaser and showcased some of his better vocals of the night. ‘Tricks of The Trade’ was stripped back from 2009’s ‘Sunny Side Up’ but it was a surprise cover of MGMT’s ‘Time To Pretend’ that was the highlight of the night. Ending with arguably his biggest hits to date, ‘Candy’ and the ironic ‘Last Request’, the roof was raised off the arena as everybody walked out echoing the chorus in true Scottish form.
If Paolo’s last request is that we hold him, he has nothing to worry about. If he continues to perform outstanding shows like this, I don’t think his fans will be going anywhere fast. Paolo’s career is heading in the direction that he wants it to and I for one don’t think he has had his moment yet.