In March this year Paolo Nutini announced a show in Bristol for June and I was left a little confused for the simple reason, where has he been, and why hasn’t he announced more shows? You may think, it’s not strange at all, but it has been 7 years since Paolo last performed in London and 8 years since the release of his last album, Caustic Love. Thankfully in early May, Paulo announced 4 intimate shows at the 100 Club, London and with a capacity of 350, unsurprisingly all 4 shows were sold out after a few minutes of going on sale.
So onto the show. Paolo backed up by a full band started off his set with the first of his brand new singles, Lose It. Contrary to the single edit, the song started off slow and quiet and built up into a really rock and roll vibe towards the end. Such was the vibe it flowed straight into well known crowd favourite Scream (Funk My Life Up) which really got the crowd going. From there, Paolo performed love songs Petrified of Love and Acid Eyes. As the gig went on so came more and more new songs with more familiar songs, Pencil Full of Lead, Coming Up Easy, Iron Sky, Better Man and the blissful elegant song Candy mixed into the set.
As always, I try to highlight a song that caught my ears and mesmerised my mind and soul. In the days leading up to this gig I had Paolo’s other newly released single Through the Echoes on repeat. An unbelievable song which sounded just as good live and really showing off Paolo’s vocals. That being said, for me an unreleased song called Everywhere, really caught my attention on the night. A great ballad which brought the audience to silence as they tuned in.
At the second encore Paolo was left alone on stage with his acoustic guitar and performed new song Shine a Light and No Other Way from his second album Sunny Side Up. It was fitting and very well planned on the setlist that the last line of his final song of the night known as Writer was “so good luck, thank you, and goodnight” and what a great mellow and humble song it was.
So what to make of it all? The setlist had a mix of genres from ballads to folk, to rock and roll. I’m not sure how many artists in the world could pull that off. Paolo is simply unique in that way. Before I knew it, the show had ended after an hour and 40mins. Out of the 16 songs performed on the night, there were 10 songs performed from his upcoming new album Last Night In The Bittersweet (to be released on 1 July).
It was clear what the audience got was a dress rehearsal of the new album. What the purists already knew was the new album name and the tracklist. For me, there was barely any mystery left. It was like getting all your candy at once. I suppose the only question I had in my mind was the same one I had before the gig and that I mentioned at the start of this review, where has Paolo been for the past 7 years? Either way, I think everyone in the audience on the night and future shows would agree with me when I say… I am just glad that he’s back.