Paolo Nutini - Manchester Academy 1 - 29.11.06

The  fact that this is Paolo Nutini's 4th visit to Manchester in as many months and his ascendance shows no sign of stopping speaks volumes about why Paolo Nutini is a much more interesting prospect than James Blunt or James Morrison. Designer Magazine has already gone on at great length why Nutini is the most sexually androgynous singer since Jagger or Bolan, but even with the same set we've heard many times before it's the songs that are the vital reason he's been such a huge success and they they're still as fresh as the first time we heard them in the now intimate surrounds of Manchester's Night & Day.

A cover of Moby's "Oh Lordy" proves without a doubt Nutini's vocal talent that is a emotional as anything that Nina Simone or the blues singers have ever committed to tape. It's this purity and richness in his vocals that hasn't been seen since the emerging rock'n'roll of the singers of the 50s and 60s and shows Luke Pritchard and Johnny Borrell up for the affected indie fops they really are.

New song "55 to 4" also shows that the debut album most certainly wasn't a flop and while it's a little lacking in momentum to be a future single, it has the hallmarks of a great album track. The rest of the set is made up of the singles we've come to love over the past few months such as "These Streets", "Last Request" and "Jenny Don't Be Hasty" and when we hear them tonight we realize they'll probably be played for years to come without any of the cloying embarrassment which will surely come with James Blunt's "Your Beautiful", surely this generations "Lady In Red" for drunken karaoke singers trying to woo back their recently divorced wife.

At the moment Paolo Nutini has the world at his feet. With each and every gig he does he knows demand is so high that few months later he'll be playing to venues twice the size, in Manchester case's he's back at the Apollo for 2 dates in February next year. However hard you try to look there's nothing to dislike about Paolo Nutini and a hell of a lot to love

Alex McCann
Photos: Rebecca Lee


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