Nerina Pallot at Gorilla
Nerina Pallot has always been a singer/songwriter with a style and pop sensibility that has deserved more hits. But there has too, always been a hard edge to her lyrics hinting at greater depth than your average pop songwriter.
Never a problem for the Joni Mitchell's or the Alanis Morissette's of this world, but these are the days of bubble gum pop, with heavy, disco beats that lend themselves to the new musical world of smart phone downloads.
How wonderful then to hear Nerina performing her own music, live in the intimacy of Gorilla in Manchester last night.
Joined on stage by her small, but talented band of musicians, Nerina's diminutive figure, clad in red and black check, assumed command immediately and with a quick quip about why they were slightly late, we were off.
The set list was certainly more acoustic than previous performances I have seen, as she alternated between guitar and piano. There can be no doubt however, that Nerina really impresses when she is at her piano.Showing us she has that rare ability to transform any venue into an intimate, salon experience, this best demonstrated with 'Idaho', 'Mr King' and the finale the sublime 'Sophia'.
Other highlights included 'Better Than Today' (Kylie track), 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' (Manchester/ex American lover tribute), 'Daphne & Apollo', from her very first album in 2001. A new track about sex 'Come' with no holds barred and 'Put Your Hands Up' followed, the latter version was a little tame, but uplifting as ever.
Nerina is also extremely witty.Her natural self effacement, coupled with references to her love of Rose (which I also share by the way) made the entire evening move effortlessly between music and chat and was thoroughly entertaining and hugely appreciated by a knowledgeable, enthusiastic crowd.
She was also clearly aware of her LGBT following, with some lively banter about a hot, gay Italian waiter at Don Marco, which was enjoyed her guitarist and members of the audience.Well she was in Manchester..
Further references to window shopping and imagining her life with Ryan Gosling and friendship with Eva Mendes, writing one of Kylie's worst selling ever singles and 6 figure royalty cheques! (Better Than Today) and her not caring anymore due to being in her 40s and looking forward to her 50s, were all appreciated by her loyal fans.
Its also a measure of a great artist who is able to entertain an audience whilst omitting her two best known hits 'Everyone's gone to war' and Learning to breathe'.All the same we would have loved to have heard them live again.
And so as we all wandered out into a chilly Manchester evening the #SponsoredByRose concert made us all feel like? Well a glass of Rose of course.
By Iain Scott for Canal St Online.
For more info about Nerina.Visit here.