Paolo Nutini has come quite a long way since his first hey-day opportunity came knocking at his door with the release of his third album, Sunny Side Up.
That was back in 2009 when the Scottish lad found himself billed on almost every festival over the summer months innocently placed somewhere in the line-ups. Since the buzz of Sunny Side Up his popularity has frazzled, purely because album number four has yet to materlise, but that hasn’t stopped Festival Republic booking him as a headline slot at this year’s Latitude festival.
It may seem unusual to find the singer topping a festival line-up, yet Latitude isn’t your usual festival. Take a look around, lamb’s dyed pink in the guest area? Two gents asking if you have seen the escaped werewolf? A performing arts presentation acted out in the woods? After midnight? Latitude is festival which includes live music as well as poetry readings, theatre, comedy and the most random assortment of delights last seen at Shangri-la on a damp cold evening in June.
The last time Paolo was here, in 2006, he found himself playing a smaller stage. Tonight as he takes to the stage in front of a backdrop screening snippets from random television programmes the crowd are quickly tuned in two of his most successful hits, Jenny Don’t Be Hasty and 10/10. His new slicked back hairstyle also scores top marks with his female fans in tonight’s crowd.
Another thing which has improved is his banter, there’s still his odd unclear murmur but on the whole Paolo seems more confidence and ballsy compared to his earlier live performances.
When he directs us down ‘These Street’ his newly acquired neighbours at Latitude give him the loudest reception of the night so far. A similar reaction greets the arrival of his relaxed, mellow cover version of Hot Chips ‘Over and Over’
As if on cue, when the lyric ‘We would watch the sun coming up easy, While the rain came tumbling down’ from ‘Coming Up Easy’ washes over the crowd the heavy rain returns for the umpteenth time this weekend giving way to dancing wellington boots to the sound of ‘New Shoes’.
‘Last Request’ preludes one more song which comes in the form of ‘Common Truth’ before fireworks set alight the night’s sky sending off Paolo to release his long awaited third album.
His headline booking may had been a bit premature and to be honest, we don’t Paolo will ever find himself in this position again, but that doesn’t mean to say he is a quality artist; he just needs a few new songs under his belt.
Disabled Access at Latitude is fairly good, the staff from Attitude is Everything were on hand in the special needs campsite (which was situated inside guest camping) Viewing platforms were secured very well by Oxfam volunteers, maybe a bit too well as a wheelchair user was turned away from the comedy platform because they didn’t have an accessible wristband. The viewing platforms for the main arena were positioned right at the back of the field, they were far back, but they provided easy accessorily and a good view of the stage.
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