The crowd are going delirious, most of the student population of women are here tonight and theres the occasional boyfriend or bewildered group of men. Just Too Good To Be True turns into a sing along as the intro music heralds the arrival of this dashing lad from Paisley.
I cannot understand a word he says in his thick Scottish accent throughout the night, not that I can hear him that well over the screams of adoration! The lighting for the evening is impressive and the blue beams blinding the stage light us up as Paolos cracked voice croons Alloway Grove the delivery takes some getting used to hes bent over face staring at the floor.
The band around him are very accomplished, Michael McDaid does a stirling job on bass, Donny Little is superb on guitar and Jim Duguid may not have drumming full of frills but hes great on keyboards and its not often you see a drummer doing both tasks in a band.
When Paolo dons a guitar for Rewind the stage is awash in glowing red/pink light and half the crowd join in. Donnys guitar work is sublime and very soothing, as are the lights which are a perfect counterpoint to his gravely vocal.
January is a departure from the debut album and showcases his thoughtful lyrics and title track These Streets is well presented by Paolo and Donny unaccompanied by a rhythm section. The lighting sets the moment and every girl in the audience knows every word its quite incredible to hear.
55 to 1 is a new tune seeing Paolo and co attempt country music. He does a passable impression of a country singer and we clap along to the railroad beat. Donnys slide guitar completes the illusion. The lighting is reminiscent of a sixties club and Paolos stripey jumper and the construction of their music wouldnt look out of place on Six Five Special for instance - its like weve travelled back to the late fifties.
Paolo sings Dolphins a statement about the world and the environment unaccompanied with Celtic knotworks spiralling behind him, he plays it to us, just because he likes it. Im surprised its so gentle, and yet still can captivate the Saturday night crowd.
Autumn returns to more familiar ground, perhaps because of the new track and the sea of phones recording it, the crowd remain quiet and Jim shines on keyboards still playing his cymbals at its climax. The band all return for Rainbows and the phones are all out recording it again. Am I the only one who finds this intensely annoying? The band let loose, descending rapidly from high fragility to low slung blistering rock and roll for Jenny Dont Be Hasty.
The song is no longer sounding like the radio version, deep red lit and a jazz funk opening more akin to the Shaft soundtrack it builds to a crescendo, the boogie is unlocked and the whole crowd is writhing to this grooved up version, rather surprising but terrific to hear. The band saunter off under the light barrage and the intermission builds to a hubbub.
Moody blue lighting sees the band return for Northern Skies a similarly moody song, before a belting cover of Amy Winehouses Rehab which is at least as good as her original, and Paolo contorts himself as he breaks the words from his throat.
The band exit an almost silent arena, and as he stands up keyboardist/drummer Jim mouths, More! to the crowd and it erupts! Of course they return for the Last Request which imbeds itself into the heads of everyone on the walk home who can be heard humming it as they issue out into a warm night. The song itself is only part performed by Paolo and band, from the second chorus Paolo and the band stop silent as the huge wall of female voices sing it back to them. Impressive. The band wind it up and its been surprisingly good entertainment.
Hes a talented lad and it shows in the song structures. Tonight the crowd adored him, I wasnt expecting to like Paolo, but it was far better crafted than I suspected and a pleasant revelation. Possibly boosted by it being a Saturday night and the venue being mainly full of young attractive women, who appear to worship his tales of wistful love.
55 to 1
Jenny Dont Be Hasty
sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.