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.

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.


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
July 2, 2015


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.


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.