My case for Paolo Nutini.
Over the last year or so I have developed a near-obsessive affinity towards Scottish singer-songwriter, Paolo Nutini. He’s just great. Now I’m not even going to pretend that I have the authority to do a proper music review, as I know next to nothing about music…I can play the guitar to a very average level, but being able to play Wonderwall, badly, does not make me a guru of the field. What I can do is explain why I love him.
His songs can fill any mood. Literally, pick a mood and he’ll have a soundtrack for it. Listening to a Paolo song is like taking a quick shot of adrenaline, and his voice alone is enough to catalyse a rush of blood to every extremity (well not everyextremity…).
Paolo Nutini has been around for longer than most people think. The 29 year-old released his debut album, ‘These Streets’, back in 2006 and since then has enjoyed two certified quintuple platinum albums. He has been labelled by the BBC as “arguably Scotland’s biggest musician right now”.
So why have I chosen to write about Paolo? It’s not like he’s topping the charts at the moment, and you’re unlikely to here any of his songs in a club. Paolo really comes into his own post-night out…you know… when you get back from the night out at like 3am, you make yourself a cheeky whiskey on the rocks, settle into your armchair, and play the whole ‘Caustic Love’ album…no? Just me? Try it, you won’t regret it.
One of the things that I love about Paolo is that most of the songs that he plays are music in its simplest. One guy, one voice, one guitar – his music is completely honest. I feel that the music industry in some cases has lost that honesty through the release of plastic records that are simply designed to fatten up wallets, but it’s clear through his interviews and performances that this is not Paolo’s objective, and I like that. With this mindset, he’s in turn become a pretty successful artist. His latest album, ‘Caustic Love’ debuted at number one on the UK Album Charts and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry in June 2014.
It’s difficult to prescribe a genre to Nutini’s music, and I think that’s a testament to the type of albums that he has released. They include an eclectic mix of pop rock, folk, blues and soul rock, that altogether paints a man who genuinely believes in his music and what it stands for. Whilst he writes plenty of music about girls and love, there are also songs that comment on politics and society (‘Iron Sky’, for example, uses a segment of Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech from the film The Great Dictator from 1940), and some also hint at his day-to-day use of Marijuana. It just shows that he doesn’t give a damn about trying to please anyone, which is again something that I admire.
I first saw Paolo live in 2014 at V Festival, and can honestly say it was one of the best acts of the weekend, and this was prior to me ever giving his music a chance, or even an acknowledgement. I think fans would agree that his best live performances are the ones where he strips back the entire set and lets his gravelly, vulnerable voice come through. ‘Last Request’, arguably Nutini’s most popular song, is a perfect example of this. On the record, there’s percussion and layers of other instruments, but if you have a quick look on YouTube you will find his live acoustic versions – they are pretty special.
Equally you can also count on Paolo to go all guns blazing and put on an incredible show. I think there’s no better way to finish this article than by sharing with you Paolo Nutini’s best ever live performance, in my opinion.
You can follow Paolo Nutini on twitter here. And give this a listen…