HAVING postponed his highly anticipated homecoming shows at Glasgow’s newest arena in October, there must have been a feeling of simultaneous anxiety and palpable excitement coursing through the veins of Paolo Nutini as he took to the stage of the SSE Hydro. However, when the Paisley born troubadour took to the stage on his 28th birthday and addressed the capacity crowd; he did so with the vigour of a true veteran with experience beyond his years.

The boy whose nervous energy and lack of stage presence had once garnered criticism from fans and critics alike has morphed into a refined showman with the ability to enrapture an audience with ease.

The set began emphatically with the rousing ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up), the lead single from 2014’s consistently acclaimed Caustic Love; on which he managed to segue into a number of different genres to produce an incredibly intriguing listen from the outset. Placing a modern interpretation on the classic sound established by legendary and archetypal soul labels such as Tamla Motown and Stax, it enabled Nutini to awaken the crowd on his home turf and establish the celebratory tone of the evening.

‘Let Me Down Easy’ followed; a simultaneously morose and inspiring composition on which Nutini exerted his distinctive voice and produced shades of Marley on its bridge.

From there, Nutini and an immensely talented band veered into his heralded back catalogue. Performing standouts from his sophomore effort Sunny Side Up and debut These Streets, tracks such as the impassioned ‘Coming Up Easy’ and live stalwart ‘Alloway Grove’ received huge reactions whilst the reimagined and amalgamated versions  of ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ and ‘New Shoes’ demonstrated his constant growth as an artist.

Excerpts from Caustic Love such as ‘Diana’ and ‘Better Man’ were greeted warmly whilst the reinvigorated Sunny Side Up single ‘Pencil Full Of Lead’ incited a commotion within the Glaswegian audience.

The main set was brought to a thundering culmination with an extremely stirring rendition of Caustic Love’s Iron Sky. Perhaps the most culturally important track that Nutini has ever released; its ardent message of liberation and the intense manner in which it was crooned to those in attendance left them in awe of the leaps and bounds he has taken as both an artist and a performer.

The show’s encore re-established the merriment that had emanated from the set’s opener, featuring Nutini’s interpretation of MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend; replacing the original’s synth led motif with joyous horn bursts and FM rock guitar.

Inserting a few bars of Kanye West’s ‘All Falls Down’ into the set’s closer, debut single ‘Last Request’ ended proceedings on a poignant not; leaving the Glenfield Road native looking genuinely moved by the fervent manner in which the audience bellowed its lyrics back to him.

An entertaining set from its moments of reflection to its exuberant final strains, Paolo Nutini’s biggest Scottish show to date proved to be a resounding success and indicated that he has all the tools required to continue to ascend in the years to come.