PAOLO Nutini has been out of the limelight for several years, and his fans are keen to catch up with their homecoming hero.
Paolo Nutini - Barrowland, Glasgow
And catch up is what they were expected to do at this show. The crowd wanted to sing the sainted old songs, but Nutini has moved on without a backwards glance. Unless that backwards glance is towards the classic 60s soul revue shows he seeks to invoke with his new, improved and expanded band The Vipers.
Although there is a full two weeks to go before the release of his new album, Caustic Love, Nutini was keen to show off some of the best material he has written, including the sultry likes of Diana, Let Me Down Easy and the epic Iron Sky. These were received with good grace but not always the rapt attention they invited.
The issue was simply one of familiarity. Give the audience a lyric or a fragment of a melody they recognised and suddenly the room came to life. No one appeared in the slightest bit bothered that Nutini has reworked every single old favourite in the set to a greater or lesser degree. Alloway Grove remained upbeat but had acquired more of an edge. Jenny Don’t Be Hasty dovetailed into a disco-infused burst of New Shoes. Pencil Full Of Lead is now a new wave odyssey and there were stripped back acoustic renditions of These Streets, 10/10 (performed in a native American headdress) and an overhaul of Last Request so radical that one cannot fit the old melody over the new chords. But the crowd tried anyway.