Gig Review by Nic Jones with Gig Photography by Giles Smith

Paolo Nutini

By all accounts, 2014 has been a hell of a year for Paolo Nutini. After years in relative obscurity following the release of his second album, he burst back onto the music scene with phenomenal third album ‘Caustic Love’ which has once again sky-rocketed him to superstardom. It’s not hard to understand why every seat in the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester is filled; the room humming with anticipation for what such a unique artist will bring to the table this evening.

Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini

The crowd applauds raucously as Nutini takes the stage and kicks off with the opening single of the new album ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’. From there we’re taken on a musical masterclass; soul, funk, pop, rock, blues and reggae all feature as Nutini demonstrates exactly why people clammer to see him live. Authentic musical talent is extremely hard to fake or replicate and it’s very rare, but when you see it you recognise it instantly. Nutini has it in abundance.

Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini

The uniquely refreshing thing about Nutini is that he is unafraid to completely be himself. He radiates confidence in who he is as a performer and his sound, and so he should because he’s nailed it. Watching him, you know he’s enjoying himself, there’s no pressure on him to perform in a certain way. He’s carved his own niche and is fully inhabiting it. He twists and turns his own material in new ways, breathing fresh life into every note. In a live capacity, Nutini’s famously distinctive voice reaches new heights. Gravelly, soulful and sultry, it’s not one you will easily forget. It particularly stands out on Iron Sky, a track for which his live vocal is already notorious due to his filmed performance in the Abbey Road Studios.

Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini

Highlights of the night come in the form of old and new material, ‘These Streets’ and ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ stand out as a fan favourites with the crowd singing along. One of the most surprising moments is perhaps a cover of MGMT’s ‘Time To Pretend’ incorporating trumpets which such style, it lights up the room. It shows such versatility and it’s hard to see where Nutini could put a foot wrong.

Paolo Nutini

Manchester’s Phones 4 U Arena is a strange venue for an artist like Nutini. Whilst the vastness of it accurately reflects his popularity, you can’t help but feel you’d like to see him in a smaller, more intimate setting which would crank up the intensity to another level. Alas, once an artist is selling as many albums as Nutini is, intimate small venue performances become a rarity; a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend.

Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini

By the time the opening chords of his first ever single and last song of the night ‘Last Request’ play, Manchester is completely enamoured. Singing a couple of bars of Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’ definitely helped with that. With this album and tour, Nutini has established himself not only as as one of the best male singer songwriters in the world but as a strong and individual performer. His is one of the most truly unique shows you will see.

Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini

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Paolo Nutini

One Response to “Paolo Nutini at Phones 4 U Arena, Manchester, UK – 6th November 2014”

  1. LIVE REVIEW: Paolo Nutini @ Phones 4 U Arena, Manchester | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] This review first appeared on Gig Junkies. […]

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