Having had every album of his top the charts, Paolo Nutini is now an arena-level star but on Friday night the people of Leeds were treated to something different – an outdoor show in Millennium Square.
The vast open space was soon filled with the 8,000 ticket holders that piled in to watch this one-off show. First up was Andreya Triana, whose soulful voice and energy filled the arena space. However, one endearing woman was soon replaced by three as The Staves took to the stage – a group of sisters who teamed catchy vocals with guitars and in doing so provided the perfect warm up for the man everyone was waiting for.
At precisely two minutes past nine, the stage lights are dimmed and the crowd begin to scream as Nutini’s nine-piece band take to stage followed by the man himself. The messy haired frontman, dressed in a crumpled shirt and jeans bounds onto stage and wastes no time in getting straight into Scream (Funk My Life Up) which sees bodies pop up on shoulders dotted all over the square. With no interruption during the first three songs, the Scottish singer moves straight into old-favourite Let Me Down Easy while third song issues a crowd sing along to Coming Up Easy.
With a quick “Hello, Leeds” and multiple shouts from the crowd, Nutini carries on with his set and soon reaches older hit Jenny Don’t Be Hasty which sees Nutini move all across the stage.
After a couple more songs the band leave stage leaving the singer standing solo, he takes the chance to speak to the crowd. “It smells like Leeds in here” provokes a synonymous laugh while “Miss you, Cockpit” receives cheers from the proud Leeds crowd.
His band return to stage and continue the set with hits such as Diana, One Day and Cherry Blossom which see the crowd enjoying themselves just as much as the beaming singer as he carries on straight into an unusual rendition of Pencil Full Of Lead which sees Nutini come off stage and into the crowd. After thanking them, he continues the set and soon comes to Iron Sky, taken from his latest album – it’s a song which everyone in the crowd seems to know
The encore sees him play songs from across all three albums and even a cover of MGMT’s Time To Pretend.
After leaving the stage for the second time Nutini proves that curfews just don’t exist in his book and returns again, announcing that he’ll be “in trouble tonight” and ends his extended set on Last Request.
As he leaves stage the singer issues one last rallying cry for the infamous Leeds venue: “Bring back The Cockpit!”
Gig date: June 19