There’s a sweet sense of patriotism and pride when a home grown singer sells out any venue, let alone the Hydro, the largest indoor venue in Scotland, and especially when it’s for five nights in the one week.
Tuesday 13 December saw the first of these sold-out performances, with German artist BROCKHOFF opening before Paolo Nutini took to the stage at around quarter to nine.
Opening with Afterneath, the crowd basked in the beauty of Nutini’s raw, controlled vocals before he swiftly transitioned into his bounciest track on the new album, Lose It, to really get the crowd going.
Nutini then moved on to fan favourite Funk My Life Up, from his 2014 album Caustic Love which paired nicely with the equally loved track Acid Eyes, from the tour’s namesake.
He played around with this pattern of new songs from the album he’s touring with and punctuating the setlist with the older songs that fans have loved for years.
Interestingly, similar to his performance at 2022’s TRNSMT Festival, when playing older songs such as Jenny Don’t Be Hasty and Pencil Full of Lead, he revamped them in a way that may have slightly lost the original charm and essence of those tracks. Saying this, Nutini made these oldies feel as though they were released alongside the Last Night in the Bittersweet album, fitting the vibe of the tour and the room, and showed a beautiful display of musical craftsmanship.
He went on to play a revamped version of the much-loved Candy before closing with another favourite from the new album, Everywhere – an ending that appeased the lovebirds, romantics, and couples that seemed to fill the venue.
However, after some poorly organised clapping and chanting on the audience’s part, Nutini and his band returned after the acidic and trippy elephant sequence from Disney film Dumbo, on theme with the rest of the stage effects from the evening.
He then went on to play some more Caustic Love tracks, including the awe-striking Iron Sky, bantering beforehand about the state of politics and the world’s leaders, and clarifying after the song that this didn’t include Scottish First Minister, saying he ‘has a lot of love for Nicola Sturgeon’.
Finally, he closed the night with Shine a Light from the 2022 album, an easy-sing song to send the crowd home.
Over the course of the evening, Nutini was overcome with emotions and just basked in the view of the thousands of people who had come out just to see him for the first night of several. It made the show feel wonderfully human and honest, something that’s nice to see from a Scottish singer in a Scotland gig.
Whilst Last Request and These Streets didn’t feature on the setlist, it was still a phenomenal evening. To be honest, with vocals like Nutini has, he’d make 40 pages of terms and conditions sound infatuating.
If you manage to snatch up some last minute tickets, it’s definitely worth the money.
Feature Image Credit: @ paolonutini on Instagram