IF audience engagement was the sole measure of success, then it’s arguable that Paolo Nutini might still be in the family chip shop business in Paisley.
This taciturn Scot breathed scarcely a word to the fans who packed the Brighton Centre on Saturday night, a muttered hello and a couple of observations about the city playing its part in the evolution of his long-awaited new album being about the sum of it.
You’d think he was shy and retiring - until he opens his mouth to sing rather than speak. And that is the nub of it. No matter that he has no real oral rapport with his audience - his huge success is owed to something far more important, namely his sheer talent and dynamism.
He had eight excellent musicians behind him but from the moment nine spotlights played down on him at the start of proceedings, he dominated the stage - and the auditorium.
I’ve got to say I find some of his Caustic Love album a tad heavy compared to the jaunty exuberance of earlier numbers such as Pencil Full of Lead, but I’ll readily accept I was in the minority at Brighton.
Paolo’s gravel-voiced performance was a soulful triumph. And to be fair, he did acknowledge the rapturous reception he received at the end, bowing before a satisfied audience. The quiet man was at one with his fans.