Paolo Nutini at 3Arena Dublin – Review & Photos
Paolo Nutini played 3Arena Dublin last night, November 3rd, 2014.
A pint of stout and a whiskey chaser. Probably not what the doctor would advise for a recovering tonsillitis patient about to entertain fourteen thousand over excited music fans. Yet here stands Paolo Giovanni Nutini, resplendent in a gold shimmering jacket, faded jeans and ruffled hair. Like he just fell out bed, rolled in gold and turned up.
Lashing straight into “Scream”, Nutini and his impressive ten piece band give this track the full fat, funked up, souled out treatment. It’s Indulgent, expanded with brass as flawless gospel flavoured backing vocals pump it till it implodes. Snake hips Nutini opens his eyes at the end to witness “Hallelujahs” from every corner of the sold out venue.
Nutini often gets relegated as pretty boy, middle of the road, marry me music. Watching him unwrap, his album layers onstage demonstrates his musical diversity. He carries the serenading simplicity of the well known “Last Request ” from his debut 2006, “These Streets”, right through to the dark, menacing messages in “Iron Sky” from his current “Caustic Love”. Yes, the ladies do love him and the boys want to be him. He has it all. Those deep brown eyes, a window to his half Italian soul, eyelashes you could sweep the floor with and no sign of a receding hairline. But behind the boyish features, his musical substance and integrity prevails.
By the time he gets to “Coming Up Easy”, he’s raised a glass of Murphy’s to his adoring crowd. Swelling this laid back, sunny sided track with trumpet and tinkling keyboards. It’s clear Nutini wasn’t going to let tonsillitis keep him out of Dublin. Having cancelled several shows in the UK, everyone is grateful the medicine worked. “It was a close call” he admits, before lifting his vintage acoustic guitar for “Alloway Grove”. A funky rocked up “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty” unfurls next. Three guitar guys riff it off, dancing around each other. Just at the end of it Paolo adds in a little harmony and few lingering chords from “New Shoes”, like it good Irish whiskey, it blends perfectly.
“The next song is dedicated to my mama, and mothers all over the world” announces Nutini before launching “Looking For Something” from “Caustic Love”. Soulful vocals, seventies guitar licks and sweet strings arrangements frame this little beauty. “That’s my mother/like no other/the guardian of my karma/ keeps my feet on terrain firmer/then release me like a scient to the sky”. She’s some woman, Mrs. Nutini. This hard working Scottish lady who runs the family chip shop. Putting manners on Paolo, keeping him grounded, advising him on life. She’s done a great job. She has made him a “Better Man”, a song that’s much adored by the audience. “These Streets” keeps the sentiment of the early days. “One Day” turns the tones a bit darker, working into the slightly psychedelic, slightly Ian Mc Cullouch, rocked out “Cherry Blossom”. The band hammer this one out like a rising sound scape. The three guitar players (apologies I don’t know their names), layering the drama played out of their skins. “Iron Sky” bonds the intensity with brass and soaring backing vocals gradually unfolding as Paolo states his sermon of free thinking into a physc-funk full volume melodrama.
The encore has a rare diamond in it, “haven’t played this for a while” Paolo states before covering MGMT’s “Time To Pretend”. That opening hook punctuated in brass by the giggling trio playing their instruments. We can see you laughing lads! Clearly everyone onstage is getting a kick out of this. “Ireland’s like a second home to me” says Paolo, melting hearts all over the place. “Candy” continues to charm the crowd as the band exit the stage leaving poor sick Paolo alone with his fans and “Last Request”. Alas that is the last request as our solo troubadour graciously bows and leaves the stage.
Keep an ear out for the support band Vaults. They gave an intriguing electro synth-pop performance. Think Florence mixed with London Grammar vocally, hypnotic touches of Bjork and charming clever percussion. Their lead singer displaying a mythical melody in her indie pure voice.