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Paolo Nutini @ The Trocadero.

September 22, 2014

PaoloNutini06Text and images by Jumah Chaguan.

He ran on stage and slid on his knees. This was his encore. With the appeal of Elvis and the working-class vibe of Springsteen, Paolo Nutini was all of that and more.

“He’s a light point,” said Theresa Paisley, a long time fan. from West Chester. “I’ve lived though the ’60s and ’70s. He’s my favorite. He pulls them all together. They all speak through him.”

Paisley held a walking stick inspired by Nutini. Nutini has said that if music doesn’t work out for him, he would make walking sticks since so many of his fans tend to be older.

This 27-year-old singer from Scotland does have a gift. In his third and latest album Caustic Love, he mixes several genres – funk, country, rock ‘n’ roll, Motown and even a bit of the psychedelic in the song “Cherry Blossom.” The romantic becomes political in his song “Iron Sky.”

Perhaps the best way to think of this artist is to imagine what a love child conceived by all the greatest singers like Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan and even Janis Joplin would be like. Nutini is that good.

No, he hasn’t been “discovered” in America, however, this didn’t matter to those in attendance at The Troc. The disciples came to Nutini’s church.

“He was too young and this country is too big,” explained Angela Gomez Hodgson.

Gomez has seen Nutini in more than 40 concerts in the UK and Europe. Here, in Philadelphia, he performed before around 1,000 attendees, which was a blessing to Gomez, who met him backstage. She proudly showed the picture of them together.

Nutini’s devotees are more than in love with him. His fan club came from overseas. Some people waited in line since 3 o’clock. A man held his cigarette lighter in the air and danced with abandon. The show was a spiritual revelation, long in the making for some. Isabelle Requena, 9, was hoisted on stage. Years prior she had given Nutini a tambourine.

Nutini embodied urgency, intensity and longing. He played like he was at a Super Bowl. Covered in sweat, with an exposed chest, he made every song feel like he was just getting started. He sang and looked like a dream but he was real – not too tall or too muscular. He opted for skull rings on his right hand and showed off tattooed stars on his left forearm. He appeared as a hopeful young man with a voice of an old soul and a childish smile.

Yes, Nutini is that guy you can’t hate, a beautiful spokesperson for life.

Nutini is on an American tour which includes New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and the famous Austin City Limits Festival. Upon his return to the UK, he’ll perform in Newcastle, Dublin and Cardiff, all of which have long been sold out.

  1. Anonymous permalink
    September 22, 2014 4:03 pm

    he is a dream from heaven!!!

  2. Zan Zabar permalink
    September 22, 2014 5:57 pm

    This super talented young man can make me a “walking stick” anytime. But I’d prefer he keep writing songs, and singing!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    September 22, 2014 10:08 pm

    Love this guy! I bet if he signed my walking stick, it would have become a magical “Wizard Staff”. Nice article Jumah, you’re pretty awesome too!

  4. September 24, 2014 2:13 am

    Jumah- I think this is your best one yet. Great pics and article. 🙂


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