It still irks us to say that Paolo Nutini headlined Rockness, but it did happen there will be those that say we should just live with it.
We felt a morbid fascination to see what would happen when the Paisley boy hit the big stage. It was clear that there was a lot of positive anticipation for him, closet Nutini fans were gathering, although it needs to be said that it was said in very hushed tones indeed (seriously we asked a couple of girls who they were looking forward to seeing they said “The Chems, Magnetic Man and Paolo Nutini” although quickly said don’t write Paolo Nutini in the feature ).
There was obviously a certain clientele being catered for with this headline slot, a clientele that may not have necessarily have attended previous Sunday headline slots (scrap that just remembered Razorlight!).
The stage was dressed in with big screens, it provided a more low key scene than the previous nights. The tones of the Godfather theme played prior to his entrance, why? well we are not quite sure.
When he hit the stage there was two things that struck us: 1) he was cleanly shaved and none of this bent over malraky 2) he also appeared sober.Paolo was taking this seriously, Paolo meant business indeed.
The crowd responded well to the tones of Jenny Don’t Be Hasty, we suspect the crowd would have responded well to any of his songs. I did try to encourage those around me to stop cheering, dancing and singing along, “It’s only encouraging him”, but it fell on deaf ears.
The 20 song set was lapped up by the crowd and they could not help but enjoy themselves, we on the other hand were not going to risk being infected by Nutini fever and went home (it was a risk not worth taking).
Whether it was an experiment or a calculated risk or an economic decision, it worked, the question is who will be booked for next year?