Culture, Manchester, Music

Paolo Nutini @ O2 Victoria Warehouse review – charismatic and beautifully crafted

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Scotland’s finest, Paolo Nutini, performed a collection of his greatest hits from old to new, in front of a crowd of devoted fans at O2 Victoria Warehouse this weekend.

Playing before the sold-out 3,500 capacity venue, the charismatic Nutini walked out onto the red-lit stage to a room full of dedicated fans chanting his name. “Oh, Paolo Nutini” to the tune of ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes could be heard throughout the space, from people of all ages.

The set opened with ‘Afterneath’, ‘Lose It’ and ‘Acid Eyes’, from his new album: ‘Last Night in The Bittersweet’, which was released recently in July of this year. 

A perfectly timed “Yes, Paolo!” was heard when the singer began a dynamic rendition of an older song, ‘Scream’. The audience, including myself, were in awe of the talented vocals emerging in front of our eyes.

People from the crowd kept guessing which songs could be coming next, and a fan named Jan Thompson via social media stated that she “loved how he has put different twists on some of his earlier songs”.

The next few songs were not so lively, as the singer decided to strip back the tunes and play a medley of four slower hits. Despite playing solo for a few songs, Paolo had full control and attention of the entire venue. The intimate atmosphere had the audience swaying back and forth, taking in the moment. 

After singing ‘One Day’, Paolo saw everyone’s anticipation for a change of tempo and confirmed that soon, the crowd would be dancing. He did not hold back on jokes throughout the night and consistently made the crowd laugh. “I know what you’re thinking. It’s Saturday night, buddy!” was a line everybody seemed to enjoy.

The beautifully crafted 22-song setlist put the crowd through a rollercoaster of emotions, going from old to new, to slower, and gradually to the classics that most people know and love. 

‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ caused an uproar of cheers – it was one of the classics played that night. The group around me sang the words to each other and danced with strangers. It truly showed how his music could unite a community. The song was remixed with a cover of ‘Teenage Kicks’ by The Undertones and one of Paolo’s most famous – ‘New Shoes’. 

People noticed the show was almost over, and you could see everyone living in the moment, appreciating the last few songs, especially when ‘Candy’ began playing. There was a long introduction to the song, which gave the crowd time to prepare for the dancing that was about to ensue. The sentimental value of this song was clear. 

Shortly after, Nutini exited the stage to the left side, and the well-expected chants of “one more song, one more song” filled the room. To nobody’s surprise, Paolo returned after a short, trippy video played on the screen, allowing him time for a small outfit change. 

‘Let Me Down Easy’ was followed by the emotional ‘Iron Sky’, one of my personal favourites. During the song, Paolo went down from the stage to shake hands with fans lucky enough to get a spot at the front – giving them a memory to cherish forever. 

Paolo made the decision to wind down the night with a stripped back ‘No Other Way’, with the only lighting being a beam shining directly onto him. The room had turned into a choir of voices as the words were sung back to him, embracing the memories made on this beautiful night. “Thank you, all you beautiful people,” were the last words before the musician bowed and walked off the stage for the final time.

About the author / 

Rianna Ram

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