Gary Lamont’s Wide as the Clyde: What happened backstage with Paolo Nutini

Evening Times
Wednesday 8 July 2015

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Paolo, Paolo, Paolo. Need I say anymore? I’m talking about the one and only, Mr Nutini. I went to Dublin at the weekend to see the man himself at Marlay Park. I know, I know, there he goes again I hear you cry! I’ve been up and down to Glasgow Airport like a right wee floozy recently – my MasterCard is cowering in the corner, and threatening to up and leave me.

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In my defense, this trip was booked months ago, I missed Paolo’s rescheduled gig at the SSE Hydro due to me still being onstage in Panto at the Pavilion. My pal Lesley is a superfan of Paolo, actually, I don’t anyone who isn’t. We combined the gig with a weekend in Dublin since it’s the summer holidays. I really know how to treat myself, eh?

My friend and the youngest McConnon sister Nichole is now here on holiday from Australia (If you want to talk about jetsetters, look no further than that family) We were joined by Careen, Nichole’s best pal and my pal Donna. Five giddy lassies off to the Fair City; it was always going to be a wild one!

We were up at 6am to get the first flight over in order to have saturday day for wandering around. It was 11.50am before we had our first bottle of fizz, pretty admirable and restrained if you ask me. The weather was glorious, wall to wall sunshine, rooftop bar, and the place was buzzing. I was head over heels in love with Dublin already!

Marlay Park is 20 minutes outside of the city centre, we got dolled up for Paolo and off we trotted to the gig. Donna’s man, John, plays in a band called Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5, and his best mate Dave, is Paolo’s guitarist. Donna was our secret weapon. Dave very kindly sorted us out with hospitality passes for the gig and invites to the aftershow party. I’ve met a few well kent faces in my time, but I’m not going to lie; this was pretty cool and I fancied us all something rotten.

Marlay Park was a beautiful venue. The sun stayed out, everyone was sitting on the grass, and it was a total festival atmosphere. We missed the first support act, but caught Imelda May who was sensational. That big, baudy voice got everyone right in the mood. Yer man Nutini was brilliant! I’ve been a fan of his for years now and always thought he was great, but he’s on a total roll right now. Vocally stunning and his performance had us all eating out of the palm of his hand.

Afterparty time. We were all pure fan girls and asked for a photo, but Paolo couldn’t have been lovelier. He is so down to earth and was up for a blether, even more so because we were a Glasgow contingent in Dublin.

We chatted about his Glasgow Summer Sessions gig at Bellahouston Park – he’s only gone and booked the legendary Grace Jones as one of his opening acts! (Yes, I totally pretended I had a hula hoop and recreated her Glastonbury performance from a few years back in front of him!) If you think that’s cringy, Lesley totally lost it and gave us all a hilariously comedic, “I carried a watermelon” moment that we will never let her forget. (Thanks Les! Thumbs up!) Poor Paolo, his heid must have been nippin. On our way back to the airport we played best and worst bit.

Best: Meeting Paolo’s mum, Linda, she loves River City and I love her.

Worst bit: Having a rammy with a herd of menopausal hens in the pub before coming home. I wrote the book on backchat dolls, never take on a gay man in a bitch fight. You won’t win. On the plus side, if that bride to be with a face like a melted welly boot managed to get a ring on her finger, then there’s hope for me yet. Always end on a positive and all that. Hags.

Paolo in Dublin

 

Thanks to Hot Press for sharing their photos with us! You can view the entire gallery HERE.

Photo credit: Kathrin Baumbach

Summer in the City Gig Review

Paolo Nutini headlines Summer in the City at Castlefield Bowl: Review

Manchester Evening News
By EMILYHEWARD
July 2, 2015

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Summer in the City arrived with perfect timing tonight, riding the crest of a heatwave that has seen Manchester swelter in 30-degree heat this week.

Staging any outdoor event in our famously unpredictable climes is always a gamble but it was one that paid off as thousands of fans watched Paolo Nutini kick off the four-date string of gigs under blue skies over Castlefield Bowl.

The show had threatened to be a washout as the heavens opened along with the gates this afternoon, with unsigned local act A Band Called Jack bearing the brunt of the bad weather as they opened the show.

But every last trace of the clouds had been chased away by the time main support act Lianne La Havas took to the stage.

Prince is a fan of the London songstress and it was easy to see why as she kicked off with the sultry, soulful Unstoppable, the first single from her soon-to-be released second album Blood.

Teasing newer material alongside breakout hits Is Your Love Big Enough and Forget, she left the crowd in no doubt they had seen a true star in the making and one who’ll surely be back here as a headliner before long.

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As Paolo Nutini followed her on stage, it was hard to believe it’s been nearly 10 years since the Scottish-Italian singer-songwriter exploded into the pop charts with debut album These Streets in 2006.

Still just 28, he’s now matured into a bona fide arena artist with a subtly evolving style that has won him both chart success and critical acclaim with number one follow-ups Sunny Side Up and Caustic Love.

The bigger and bolder sound of the latter was brought to life with the help of a nine piece band, complete with a brass section, as he opened with the infectious Scream (Funk My Life Up).

Those gravelly vocals possess an impressive power live, raw and strained with emotion but always note perfect.

Many of the set’s highlights came from his newer material – with the epic Iron Sky and Cherry Blossom providing two of the pinnacle moments.

But older classics proved just as popular as they were revisited and in some cases reworked, including a rocked up rendition of New Shoes, which he segued into during Jenny Don’t Be Hasty.

Pencil Full of Lead was also given the big band treatment – as was Paolo himself as he donned a Sinatra-style fedora thrown on stage by a fan.

But he knew when to strip it back too, letting his songwriting speak for itself and the Scottish lilt shine through in his voice in an acoustic version of These Streets and later Last Request, which he closed his encore with after an anthemic cover of MGMT’s Time To Pretend.

They were two of the quietest numbers of the night but they got some of the loudest cheers.

With the sun now set on the first night of Summer In The City, Paolo Nutini will be a tough act to follow and that challenge goes to recently reunited duo Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, who play the second night tomorrow.

The Charlatans will headline on Saturday July 4, joined by hotly tipped Stockport group Blossoms, while Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds arrive in the city a week later on July 11 with support from Johnny Marr and Black Rivers – the new band from former Doves brothers Andy and Jez Williams.

Photos by Joel Goodman

Too good not to share!

So I was looking through some old Paolo videos the other night and I came across one on Vimeo that I absolutely have to share. It’s back from one of Paolo’s first trips to the U.S. – Stubbs in Texas in March of 2006. Here’s Paolo, Donny, Mick and Jim being amazing. The song is Last Request.

 

Paolo Interview – Hot Press, June 2015

Paolo Nutini Interview – Hot Press
Olaf Tyaransen, 26 Jun 2015

(You can see the actual clipping from the magazine here).

His albums to date have gone ten times platinum, and rising – making Paolo Nutini one of the biggest new stars of the past decade. A proud Scotsman, he also has a close affinity with Irish audiences. Which is why he is looking forward to his upcoming show in Marlay Park – for which he chose the bill himself. Here he talks Scottish independence, dope, songwriting – and lots more besides…

As a highly talented, ridiculously handsome and multi-platinum-selling rock star, Paolo Giovanni Nutini has many strings to his bow, zeros in his bank, and awards on his mantlepiece. However, an affably modest type, the olive-skinned Scotsman obviously doesn’t feel the need to put it all out there. For if he did, he’d surely be calling himself Dr. Paolo Nutini…

In recognition of his achievements, the Paisley-born singer was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in 2012. “That’s true, yeah,” the 28-year-old acknowledges. “I think if I had the inclination I’d be able to put it on my passports or credit cards. It’s never really sprang to mind, though. Yeah, that was an interesting little surprise.” He chuckles. “It probably made a lot of doctors sick.”

Thankfully, he’s been far too busy to get sick himself in recent times. Since last year’s release of third album, Caustic Love, Paolo’s mostly been touring throughout Europe, Asia and the US. “I’ve been predominately touring for most of the year,” he says. “But we’ve been able to leave some good gaps in the middle so I can practice. So that’s one thing: it’s always good to leave some time to practice (laughs). Even in the bits when you’re not on the stage or you’re not in the studio, I’m just trying to keep on, either being somewhere where you can just listen, just feed yourself with music you haven’t heard. It’s nice now I’ve been able to get myself a piano in the house. You can sit and play, always trying to move on, move forward.”

So presumably album number four is already well underway?

“I was on album number four a little while before album number three was released,” he laughs. “There’s times when you write a song a day. That’s cool. There’s no quota.”

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