Gig Review by Nic Jones with Photography by Katja Ogrin

Paolo Nutini

Summer arrived in Manchester this week, at long last, and with the humidity came Summer In The City; a series of gigs hosted at outdoor venue Castlefield Bowl. With a line-up including The Charlatans and Noel Gallagher, it’s a must-see set of gigs, especially with the first night being headlined by Paolo Nutini.

Paolo Nutini

With Glastonbury still fresh in everyone’s minds, the idea of sunshine and outdoor music has everyone in high spirits as we arrive at the unique amphitheatre setup. Manchester is out in force to watch Nutini, with the Bowl packed full of a wide variety of people enticed by the promise of an electric performance from the soulful singer. They are not disappointed.

Paolo Nutini
Paolo NutiniPaolo Nutini

Nutini appears on stage to rapturous applause and kicks off proceedings with ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ which has the crowd dancing along and immediately wins them over. From that point his set swings from soulful rock to slower bluesy numbers with ease, never really losing momentum in the quieter moments. Early single ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ is given a surprising but welcome rockier update, adding edge where there was previously a lighter, less mature sound. ‘Looking for Something’ is full of euphoria, building pace throughout and ending in a crescendo of emotion.

Paolo Nutini

Despite Nutini’s artistic evolution across his three albums, all his material sits well together mostly because of how he performs it. Nutini has a powerful but subtle on-stage charisma which makes it hard to take your eyes off him but doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a born showman, per se. He gives a passionate performance but it is self contained and authentic. He let’s his voice speak for him, and that it does. Gravely, soulful and completely unique, Nutini’s sound is a complete one-off. It remains puzzling how his performance can be so full of energy and force yet his voice sounds totally effortless.

Paolo Nutini

The least surprising part of the evening is probably the spine-tinglingly good performance of ‘Iron Sky’. Adele referred to Nutini’s performance of it at the Abbey Road Studios as one of the best things she’d ever seen in her life, and she was spot on. Watching Nutini give his heart and soul to the song as the sun sets over Manchester is nothing short of spellbinding. Nutini continues to put performances in which make him an artist who has to be seen live; catch him when you can.

Lianne La Havas

Support for Paolo Nutini came from the beautiful Gig Junkies’ favourite Lianne La Havas. La Havas made a huge breakthrough with her Top 5 debut album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ which sold 200,000 copies and won Album of the Year at iTunes as well as Barclaycard Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Best Album nominations. More recently Lianne has been collaborating with the likes Prince, Aqualung and Tourist and her eagerly anticipated album ‘Blood’ is out 31st July and will be available as a digital download, on CD and vinyl.

Lianne La Havas

Lianne’s summer festival schedule continues with shows including Latitude, Gentlemen of the Road and Bestival.

Lianne La Havas

2 Responses to “Summer In the City: Paolo Nutini + Lianne La Havas at Castlefield Bowl, Manchester, UK – 2nd July 2015”

  1. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Summer In The City: The Charlatans at Castlefield Bowl, Manchester, UK – 5th July 2015 Says:

    […] a successful start featuring Paolo Nutini, ‘Summer In The City’ had its first Saturday night show headlined by Britpop stalwarts The […]

  2. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Summer In The City: Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Castlefield Bowl, Manchester, UK – 3rd July 2015 Says:

    […] the Castlefield Bowl in Manchester, is definitely about offering variety. Kicking off with soulful Paolo Nutini and featuring Britpop-indie legends The Charlatans, sandwiched neatly in the middle is the reunited […]

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