Review: Paolo Nutini, LG Arena

 

A packed crowd at Birmingham’s LG Arena were more than happy to make Paolo Nutini feel ‘at home’ as he breezed through a ninety minute set-list following his recovery from severe tonsillitis.

 

Kicking things off with ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up), from number one album Caustic Love, there were no signs of vocal wear and tear after Nutini was forced to reschedule three gigs last week due to losing his voice.

While his songs are usually strong and his performances always from the heart, it is that voice which makes people part with their cash for a ticket.

Nutini and his band seemed to particularly enjoy playing the Caustic Love material, with its dark, electronic soul fitting perfectly into an arena setting.

The new songs sounded muscular, bass heavy and seem to indicate the start of a new era for Paolo.

While the nine-piece band seemed to find their groove in these moments, it was hits from the Scottish-born singer songwriter’s second album, Sunny Side Up, which proved to be the biggest sing-a-longs.

First up from the 2009 album was Coming up Easy, its refrain echoing round the room long after the song had finished.

Later a reworked version of Pencil Full Of Lead sparked mass dancing across all ages in attendance, with Nutini congratulating the crowd on their work afterwards.

Audience banter was kept fairly minimal, save for a confession that the man who had held a crowd of thousands in the palm of his hand had felt ‘nervous’ before the show, before thanking the people of Birmingham for making him feel at home.

The final song of the main set was Iron Sky, by far the standout track from Caustic Love, which prompted huge cheers from the moment its first chords sounded.

While each and every song seemed to hit home with those in attendance on some level, Iron Sky took things supersonic for a few minutes and is clearly the number everyone on stage enjoys playing most.

A four song encore followed, starting with the solemn and reflective Tricks of the Trade before a surprise cover of MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’ brought the party spirit back.

A reworked version of Candy followed before the band left the stage.

The show wasn’t over yet however, with Nutini seemingly intent on playing all night; such was the sense of enjoyment he gave off.

In the end, a tender, solo version of his first hit Last Request brought things to a close, followed by rapturous applause.

If Nutini genuinely felt nervous before the gig, he had no reason to be.

Nobody was left in any doubt as to his capabilities as a performer following this energetic and musically perfect show.

By Jordan Harris

THURSDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 2014

Nuts about Nutini

HE came, he saw, he conquered. Paolo Nutini, undeniably the coolest man in music at the moment, rocked Belfast on Sunday in a gig that left all of us who had travelled from Fermanagh blown away.

Shaggy-haired Nutini, dressed in a white shirt and black jeans, strutted onto the stage at the Odyssey Arena with swagger and charisma and as he picked up his guitar the crowd roared.

Or should that be, screamed. Apt, then, that the first track was Scream (Funk My Life Up) taken from his third studio album, the very brilliant Caustic Love.

And boy did we roar, delighted that the Scottish singer had made it here after he was forced to cancel a string of gigs in other parts of the UK due to suffering a bout of “severe tonsillitis”.

“It was touch and go” revealed Nutini, before dedicating Looking For Something to his mother “who nursed me back to health”, later telling the crowd: “Too much rest becomes a pain”.

Thanks to Mama Nutini “sweet mother of mine” the singer-songwriter had found his gravely, distinctive voice again as he performed hit after hit to a pleased, energised, mostly female crowd.

Joined by an impressive 10 piece brass band, Nutini offered up funky alternative versions to classics such as Jenny Don’t Be Hasty and New Shoes from his début album These Streets.

Mixed with his new, more soulful material, he delivered again and again before surprising all of us with a bouncy cover of MGMT’s Time To Pretend that had Belfast jumping.

Ever the expert in working the crowd, Nutini saved the very best to last with a stunning, stripped back version of Last Request that earned him a standing ovation from a delighted audience.

One man, one guitar, who left thousands of us wanting more. There really is no Better Man.

3Arena Dublin – November 3, 2014

 

 

Photos by Anamaria Meiu

A pint of stout and a whiskey chaser. Probably not what the doctor would advise for a recovering tonsillitis patient about to entertain fourteen thousand over excited music fans. Yet here stands Paolo Giovanni Nutini, resplendent in a gold shimmering jacket, faded jeans and ruffled hair. Like he just fell out bed, rolled in gold and turned up.

Lashing straight into “Scream”, Nutini and his impressive ten piece band give this track the full fat, funked up, souled out treatment. It’s Indulgent, expanded with brass as flawless gospel flavoured backing vocals pump it till it implodes. Snake hips Nutini opens his eyes at the end to witness “Hallelujahs” from every corner of the sold out venue.

Nutini often gets relegated as pretty boy, middle of the road, marry me music. Watching him unwrap, his album layers onstage demonstrates his musical diversity. He carries the serenading simplicity of the well known “Last Request ” from his debut 2006, “These Streets”, right through to the dark, menacing messages in “Iron Sky” from his current “Caustic Love”. Yes, the ladies do love him and the boys want to be him. He has it all. Those deep brown eyes, a window to his half Italian soul, eyelashes you could sweep the floor with and no sign of a receding hairline. But behind the boyish features, his musical substance and integrity prevails.

By the time he gets to “Coming Up Easy”, he’s raised a glass of Murphy’s to his adoring crowd. Swelling this laid back, sunny sided track with trumpet and tinkling keyboards. It’s clear Nutini wasn’t going to let tonsillitis keep him out of Dublin. Having cancelled several shows in the UK, everyone is grateful the medicine worked. “It was a close call” he admits, before lifting his vintage acoustic guitar for “Alloway Grove”. A funky rocked up “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty” unfurls next. Three guitar guys riff it off, dancing around each other. Just at the end of it Paolo adds in a little harmony and few lingering chords from “New Shoes”, like it good Irish whiskey, it blends perfectly.

“The next song is dedicated to my mama, and mothers all over the world” announces Nutini before launching “Looking For Something” from “Caustic Love”. Soulful vocals, seventies guitar licks and sweet strings arrangements frame this little beauty. “That’s my mother/like no other/the guardian of my karma/ keeps my feet on terrain firmer/then release me like a scient to the sky”. She’s some woman, Mrs. Nutini. This hard working Scottish lady who runs the family chip shop. Putting manners on Paolo, keeping him grounded, advising him on life. She’s done a great job. She has made him a “Better Man”, a song that’s much adored by the audience. “These Streets” keeps the sentiment of the early days. “One Day” turns the tones a bit darker, working into the slightly psychedelic, slightly Ian Mc Cullouch, rocked out “Cherry Blossom”. The band hammer this one out like a rising sound scape. The three guitar players (apologies I don’t know their names), layering the drama played out of their skins. “Iron Sky” bonds the intensity with brass and soaring backing vocals gradually unfolding as Paolo states his sermon of free thinking into a physc-funk full volume melodrama.

The encore has a rare diamond in it, “haven’t played this for a while” Paolo states before covering MGMT’s “Time To Pretend”. That opening hook punctuated in brass by the giggling trio playing their instruments. We can see you laughing lads! Clearly everyone onstage is getting a kick out of this. “Ireland’s like a second home to me” says Paolo, melting hearts all over the place. “Candy” continues to charm the crowd as the band exit the stage leaving poor sick Paolo alone with his fans and “Last Request”. Alas that is the last request as our solo troubadour graciously bows and leaves the stage.

Keep an ear out for the support band Vaults. They gave an intriguing electro synth-pop performance. Think Florence mixed with London Grammar vocally, hypnotic touches of Bjork and charming clever percussion. Their lead singer displaying a mythical melody in her indie pure voice.

Review by Ciara Sheahan

Dublinconcerts.ie All Rights Reserved

Paolo Nutini’s ‘Sunny Side Up’ goes 6x platinum

29 Oct 2014  Music-News.com Newsdesk 

After Paolo Nutini had to cancel both Glasgow dates with severe tonsillitis, finally some good news. His biggest-selling album to date, the acclaimed ‘Sunny Side Up’ has now passed the landmark of 1.8 million copies sold in the UK across all formats since its release in June 2009.

This impressive achievement earns ‘Sunny Side Up’ a prized 6x Platinum certification by the BPI ‘ the trade body that represents the recorded music business and which also administers the UK’s iconic Platinum, Gold & Silver Certified Awards Scheme.

Paolo’s popularity as one of Britain’s leading artists is further underlined by the success of his current album, ‘Caustic Love’, which has already notched up nearly half a million sales since its release in April ‘ one of the top five best-selling albums of 2014 so far.

Following its release just over five years ago, only eight artist albums that have come out since then have sold more copies in the UK than Paolo Nutini’s ‘Sunny Side Up’, including Adele’s ’21’, Michael Buble’s ‘Crazy Love’, Take That’s ‘Progress’ and Emeli Sande’s ‘Our Version of Events’.

The BPI’s Gennaro Castaldo comments: ‘Sunny Side Up not only cemented Paolo’s reputation as a leading British talent of his generation, it also helped to propel him to international stardom. Now well on its way to becoming a modern classic, with 6x Platinum status and nearly 2m sales in the UK alone, ‘Sunny Side Up’ is one of those career-defining recordings that remains in permanent demand as new fans discover Paolo’s outstanding qualities as a singer-songwriter.’

Paolo’s First Arena Performance

“Paolo Nutini was at the Metro Radio Arena to debut his biggest UK tour yet, and he left no-one in any doubt of the talent and charisma which got him there.”
(James Harrison, The Journal)

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“From the pulsating beats of opening song Scream (Funk My Life Up), to the beautifully crafted new arrangements of popular sing-alongs such as Pencil Full of Lead , the 27-year-old was relentless in pleasing his loyal following.” (Mark Thompson, Hartlepool Mail)

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“Paolo Nutini delivered a stunning set to a sell-out crowd at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena… he thanked everyone for coming to see him since ‘he’s never played in an arena before’ and judging by the audience’s reaction I’m sure his days of playing smaller venues are over.”
(Sarah Jeffery, The Chronicle)

Paolo played his first arena gig last night at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. Stunning, flawless, amazing, fantastic, brilliant, sensational, pure talent, magnificent-just a few of the words fans used to describe the sold out performance.

 



Paolo performing his award-winning track “Iron Sky”

Crowd favorite “Pencil Full of Lead”

Closing song “Last Request”

Soak it in, Paolo. You deserve all the accolades and all the love!

 

Review: Paolo Nutini at Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

LIVE REVIEW: Paolo Nutini starts Caustic Love tour in Newcastle

Review: Paolo Nutini kicks his tour off on Tyneside in style