A concert is futile if it doesn’t leave you in a state of yearning for a week or so afterwards. Paolo Nutini bathed Cape Town in his soulful sexiness, leaving everyone swooning… exactly as we had hoped.
The sublimity of Kirstenbosch Gardens magnified his impact of course. In surroundings imbued by city lights, lush trees and mist-stroked mountains, and with a few sparkling wines within arm’s length, everyone was more than willing to be at the mercy of Nutini’s Scottish charm, his cheeky smile and his spellbinding voice.
Toya DeLazy as the opening act showed an uncompromising energy that cannot go unadmired. But although she performed zealously, her music was perhaps not well suited for the laidback context.
By contrast, Nutini’s boyish allure along with his bluesy voice made every song a tantalising experience. The backup singer and drummer, despite being new on stage with Nutini, were absolutely on point, and the band as a whole created an overall sound that was nothing if not elegant, complimenting Nutini as he poured out his soul.
Towards the end Nutini played a little hard to get, leading the band off stage. It worked like a charm, the crowd rising as one to demand more. He re-appeared to give us a gentle ‘Last Request’.
The only disappointment was that ‘New Shoes’, one of his classical crowd-pleasers, was left off the playlist. A pity, because then I would have been wholly satisfied. But perhaps that was another part of his charm offensive… to leave us wanting more, more, more.
Tayla-Paige van Sittert
Paolo Nutini performed at Kirstenbosch Gardens on 18 & 19 March 2015.