Paolo Nutini, Clare Grogan and the Bay City Rollers honoured at the 17th annual SSE Scottish Music Awards

Evening Times
Stacey Mullen, Digital Journalist / Sunday 29 November 2015 / News

Paisley crooner Paolo Nutini led from the front as he was presented with a major Scottish music award.


The 17th Annual SSE Scottish Music Awards took place at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket, to raise much needed funds for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland.

The night brought together some of Scotland’s most celebrated acts and artists and honoured them with numerous awards, handcrafted for the occasion by Scottish woodwork designer, Paul Hodgkiss.

Winning the SSE Best Live Act Award was Paisley born singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini, who smashed a headline performance to 35,000 people for Glasgow’s Summer Sessions at Bellahouston Park, as well selling out two SSE Hydro shows at the start of the year.

Of the charity, Paolo said: “It’s great to be invited along and to continue the relationship with Nordoff Robbins that we have built up over the last 10 years.

“The awards are a celebration of Scottish musicians which is great but more importantly, they are a catalyst for raising money to help this great charity do the fantastic work that they do.

“Please, if you don’t know about Nordoff and the work that they do then look into it and give them your support. Music can be a powerful thing.”

Colin Banks, Head of Sponsorship at SSE said: “The 2015 SSE Scottish Music Awards was a hugely successful evening, raising a significant amount of money for Nordoff Robbins Scotland, which will allow the charity to continue the life-changing provision of music therapy throughout the country.

“SSE is proud to have awarded the Best Live Act prize to the amazing Paolo Nutini following a year which saw him play sold-out shows at The SSE Hydro and Bellahouston Park, amongst a worldwide tour taking in almost 100 shows.”

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Paolo Nutini talks to us about his own charity, winning awards and.. dipping his toes into fairy pools

Daily Record
October 25, 2015

HUMBLED by incredible stories of the finalists at our Great Scots awards, soul superstar Paolo Nutini reveals plans to launch his own charity foundation.


HE MAY be a newly minted Great Scot, but superstar soulman Paolo Nutini let us in on his plan to help great causes.

The singer, who starred at our awards ceremony honouring Scotland’s unsung heroes last week, wants to launch a charity foundation to support Scots in need.

Paolo, who was presented with our Music Award by Scotland boss Gordon Strachan before delivering a sensational hits-packed set, said he was blown away by the winners on the 25th anniversary of our People’s Oscars and revealed he hopes their expertise can guide him as he tries to help.

He said: “I’m just happy to be here. I was looking at the information about the people nominated and, my God, it’s all about them.

“It is overwhelming the changes people in the room here have made. It is unbelievable. Especially now, that sense of community is really important for any town or city.

“Music can really help people, help individuals in beautiful ways.

“But the main thing I am looking at is what more can I do to help. There are people here running things like support groups and community projects.

“I am keen to see if these Great Scot nominees can help me to filter that kind of energy, those intentions and help me underline them a little bit.

“What I am trying to do is start something like a foundation so we can start to expand on that and do more and do better. That’s the best thing.


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Starstuck Caldercruix girl, 8, gets hug from hero Paolo Nutini at awards bash

Daily Record
23 Oct 2015
By Robert Fairnie

ABBIE Smith was in her element with the Paisley pop star as the Down’s Syndrome theatre group she is a member of won a prize.


A STARSTRUCK Caldercruix youngster has awarded a Scots musician ten out of ten after the pair shared a dance at a top awards bash.

Lanarkshire’s Ups & Downs Theatre group picked up the prestigious Community Champion prize at the Sunday Mail’s Great Scot Awards at the weekend.

And eight-year old Abbie Smith was one of twelve delighted group members who collected the prize at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel on Saturday night.

But not before she shared the stage with Paisley hit-maker Paolo Nutini.

Abbie, who has Down’s Syndrome, was in her element as the youngster has a passion for dance.

And proud mum Theresa Zambonini told the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser: “She just loves to dance and when Paolo got up and started singing she ran for the stage.

“I tried to go after her but she managed to duck and dive past everyone and by the time I caught up she was at the stage.

“She was up dancing with her two favourite dolls – Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen.

“Paolo spotted her and they started dancing. He then leaned down and gave her a hug and everyone started cheering and clapping so Abbie bowed. It was lovely.”

Theresa, 47, explained that Abbie and her Ups & Downs co-stars were then invited backstage to meet the singer.


She continued: “Paolo was lovely with the group and he said he was going to come along to one of the upcoming shows in March.

“We joked that while tickets are quite difficult to get a hold of, we could probably sort one out for him.

“Our families are also from the same place in Italy, Barga, so that was another talking point for us.

“My plan was to bring that up if we got the chance to speak to him – it just turns out Abbie beat me to it.

“We also managed to speak to Scotland manager Gordon Strachan as he was at our table. Abbie’s dad Kevin was disappointed he missed out.”

Theresa helps out with the costumes at the winning Ups and Downs theatre group.

And she added: “There were tears when we won the award.

“It was a really special moment and the kids in particular were absolutely delighted that we managed to win.

“Abbie is in her third year with the group now and she loves it.”

The Ups and Downs theatre group is a Scottish charity formed as a creative outlet for young people with Down’s Syndrome and their siblings.

Great Scot 2015: The stars come out to hail our heroes on a night full of emotion and inspiration

Daily Record
18 Oct 2015
By Heather Greenaway

IT was a Buddy great night for Paisley boys as top awards went to TV and music legends.


Paisley boys Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat and Paolo Nutini.

YOU can take the boys out of Paisley but last night you couldn’t take Paisley out of our awards.

Two showbusiness giants, both Paisley Buddies, were hailed at the Great Scots – superstar soul boy Paolo Nutini and Doctor Who genius Steven Moffat.

Both won awards at our 25th anniversary celebration on a huge night for Paisley as they bid to become Britain’s City of Culture 2021.

Paolo, who has become a global star after a chart-topping 10-year career, picked up the Music Award before playing a stunning four-song set at our ceremony in the Hilton in Glasgow.

But he was not the only world-conquering musical Scots on the stage last night as the Bay City Rollers reunited for the first time in 40 years before their sell-out comeback dates at Christmas.

Paolo, 28, who has sold six million albums worldwide and has played to sell-out crowds across the globe, was given a huge ovation as he picked up his award from Scotland boss Gordon Strachan.


Paolo Nutini performs on stage during the awards

Last night, he said: “I’ve looked into the stories of the people who’ve been nominated and are being commended here tonight – and it’s amazing what they are doing.

“We’re here as a wee bit of a distraction that definitely plays as a sideshow to the important stuff.”

Paolo was born in Paisley and was expecting to follow his dad into the fish and chip shop business until teachers at St Andrew’s Academy recognised his talent.

After leaving school, he worked as a roadie for Speedway and gigged all over Scotland until he got his big break playing at a Clyde 1 concert in Paisley in 2003, when Fame Academy winner David Sneddon was late.

Paolo was snapped up by a manager and, aged 17, moved to London, where he started performing on the radio and as the support act for the likes of Amy Winehouse and The Rolling Stones.

He signed to Atlantic Records in May 2005 and in 2006 his debut album, These Streets, peaked at No3 in the UK charts.

Its jazzy follow-up, Sunny Side Up, went straight to No1. With demand for him at its peak, Paolo went off-radar for the best part of five years, returning in 2014 with the stunning album Caustic Love.

The star, who packed out Bellahouston Park this summer, has a host of celebrity fans including Pink, Rod Stewart and Taylor Swift.

His award was one of the highlights of the night, where stars of sport, TV, music, business and charity came together to celebrate Scotland’s people’s Oscars.

Gig review: Paolo Nutini and Grace Jones, Glasgow

The Scotsman
September 3, 2015

By Fiona Shepherd


Paolo Nutini impressed at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

GLASGOW Summer Sessions’ brief weekend sojourn in Bellahouston Park kicked off in emotional and occasionally triumphant style with Paolo Nutini’s biggest (sort of) hometown show.

Paolo Nutini and Grace Jones
Bellahouston Park, Glasgow
Rating: ****

It featured his personally curated support bill of local lo-fi indie rockers Tuff Love, singer/songwriter Soak, the ever-incorrigible The View and the venerable Grace Jones, who kept the crowd hanging, as was her diva prerogative.

Her plane was delayed, she informed us, on taking the stage 45 minutes late. Plus that voodoo priestess body paint must be a right fiddle to apply. But open air gig curfews wait for no woman, not even the mighty Miss Grace, so the upshot was a truncated four-song set in which she never entirely hit her stride nor, with the notable exception of the magnificent Slave to the Rhythm, picked her best material.

Still, her enormous presence and eccentric personality made their mark. “Shenanigans,” she boomed while whipping a male pole dancer. There could be no more incisive review of her performance as she gyrated, flounced, hula hooped and generally made a gleeful exhibition of herself – though it transpired this was actually the name of her buoyant new Afrobeat number.

Nutini could hardly be more different as a performer – humble, sweet, quietly charismatic man of the people, but also increasingly confident and able to command a big arena with the passion of his delivery and the able backing of the soulful Vipers. The top drawer tracks from third album Caustic Love have raised the stakes, allowing Nutini to really show off what has always been an excellent soul voice. Now he has the songs which allow him to dig deep and deliver with testifying fervour.

The old school ache of Let Me Down Easy, the unhurried build of Better Man, sultry soul smooch of Diana and the redemptive swell of Iron Sky were all dispatched with compelling conviction, while the Stevie Wonder wah-wah of Numpty and psychedelic brass fanfare of Cherry Blossom reflected some of the glory on to the band.

This was a set of dynamic contrasts – the direct appeal of Nutini’s sweet pop vocals on the breezy homecoming pop ditty Alloway Grove, the rocking rhythm’n’blues retooling of Jenny Don’t Be Hasty which playfully segued into New Shoes, the moving solo reworking of Last Request were all shrewd ways to handle material he has somewhat outgrown, although Candy, accompanied here by a curtain of glittering pyrotechnics, remains the perennial fan favourite.

Paolo Nutini hails Jay Beatty as ‘his hero’

August 31, 2015
by Carmel Robinson

Lurgan boy Jay Beatty was the envy of many at the weekend after hanging out with international superstar Paolo Nutini. The Scottish singer invited Jay and his family to his gig in Glasgow on Saturday night and all had the VIP treatment.


Paolo Nutini with Jay Beatty

ay, his mum Aine, dad Martin and sister Olivia hung out with the singer for a few hours before the gig.

Paolo and his new pal Jay had a sing song in the back of a taxi with Jay strumming away on his guitar.

The gig at Bellahouston was packed with 35,000 people and 11-year-old Jay was guest of honour.

Hoops-mad Paolo even dedicated his hit song These Streets to the youngster on stage.


Jay Beatty with Paolo on their way to the gig

He told the crowd the pair had been backstage practicing his set together prior to the show.

Dad Martin told the MAIL he nearly fell out of bed last Wednesday when he got a call from Paolo inviting Jay and the family to the gig.

“We were going to the Celtic match anyway in the afternoon and couldn’t believe it when Paolo rang and invited us to his gig,” he said.

“And not only that Paolo’s mum rang the next day and asked if we had any dietary requirements as they were having a feast backstage before gig,” he said.


Paolo with Jay Beatty and his mum Aine

Then Paolo brought them in his SUV with bodyguards to the backstage area.

They had a sing song in the back of the car.

“We were in his dressing room and he couldn’t have been nicer. He asked Jay what his favourite song was and Jay said Hail Hail,” he laughed.

Jay knows a load of Paulo’s songs as mum Aine and sister Olivia are big fans and his music is never off in the car, so he was able to sing along to some tunes with the Scottish singer.

Martin said he couldn’t believe it, Paolo told Jay that he was his hero.

Martin said Jay and him stayed backstage as it was a bit too much for Jay but was delighted when Paolo dedicated his song The Streets to the Lurgan boy.

“He said he was dedicating the song to the most famous person he knew – Jay Beatty,” said Martin.

“You don’t expect a wee boy from Lurgan to get that,” he said.

Martin’s wife Aine and daughter Olivia went to the after show party and everyone had a great time.

“This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to people,” said Martin, who added that he hoped it would raise the profile of Downs and Proud.

Jay gave Paolo a Downs and Proud bag and Paolo gave him T shirts.

“He absolutely loved it,” said Martin.