Friday, October 12, 2007

Paolo Nutini at Mr. Smalls

I had the good fortune of catching Paolo Nutini at Mr. Smalls on Monday. It was the first time I had been to Mr. Smalls and it was worth the trek out the North Hills. It is a nice little venue with cheap drinks, good size stage, and decent acoustics. This concert attracted about 500 people which I'd say is about right for the place.

Nutini is relatively new Scottish singer songwriter that I just happened to catch on WYEP several months ago. He is only twenty years old, but writes surprisingly lyrically sophisticated songs with catchy melodies. His music has a pop-folk sound with some rock-n-roll influence. His songs "New Shoes" and "Last Request" have gotten some airplay and have been featured as background music on television shows and in movies. Along with Nutini, Indiana native Jon Mclaughlin, and Canadian Serena Ryder were featured on the bill.

Ryder opened the show, playing only acoustic guitar with no backup. Her soulful and powerful voice was more than adequate to fill the room and she proved herself to be a more than competent songwriter. "Brand New Day" featured her lyrical ability and was my favorite song. Jon Mclaughlin was a more in the vein of a young Elton John--featuring driving keyboards mixed with a melodic rock sound. Mclaughlin's "Beautiful Disaster," which I had heard before, but just not sure where, was his highlight song.

Nutini played for a little over an hour with a three piece backup band, featuring songs from his latest full length release, "These Streets." The first thing I noticed is that his voice is very different in person than it is on the LP. It is much more soulful and "dirty"--but also with a hint of a Scottish accent--things that did not come through on the studio mix. After I got used to the different voice, I actually liked it better and wondered why the producer altered it so much. In addition to his entire album, Nutini also worked in interesting covers of Moby's "Natural Blues," Bo Diddley's "Can't Judge a Book," and Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'," which reflected the many influences upon his music. Overall it is a solid show at every level.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a Uk fan of Paolo and loved your review !! So many people copy the reviews of other journalists. Just changing the words. You actually listened to Paolo. He has a wonderful voice and it's so different. His fans worldwide love his real Scots accent too. for a 20yr old he has a voice almost as well worn in as Joe Cocker ! His lyrics are from the heart yet not cheesy in any way shape or form being totally unique to how Paolo felt about his life at the time of writing. His influences were his Italian Grandad who loved all music from Opera to Jazz, as well as anything he could boogie too. He encouraged Paolo to join in with his sessions on the Honky Tonk with the local Seigneur from the Paisley (Scotland) Catholic Church. Paolo said grandad or 'Nonni' would give him something, anything, to bang like a drum so he could get the rhythm.
Paolo has written the most beautiful song as a tribute to Nonni when he died, if you haven't heard it before try here;

Autumn
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB5xoDEOgec


another great song actually that isn't on his album is this;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB5xoDEOgec

There are still some beautiful songs to be released from his album.

I love White Lies.....trouble is I like every song because they are all quite different.

You Rock Paolo!!

goffchile said...

Thanks for your comment and the links. I just hope he finds his way back to Pittsburgh soon.

Mark said...

Here on Indiana, Jon Mclaughlin is a very respected musician, but I really disagree with the critics he's given to generic viagra users. I think he should not speak so negative stuff about us users of this pill.