An awful lot has changed in the world since Paolo Nutini released his last album, more than five years ago.
The iPad was invented, Barack Obama is now on his second term as US president, there’s been a Royal Wedding and even a Royal birth!
A long time then, but not enough for people to forget about Nutini, and right now his latest album, ‘Caustic Love’ is on its way to the top of the charts.
It’s destined to perform equally as well as his first two, ‘These Streets’ and ‘Sunny Side Up’ and it deserves to.
It’s a superior record and a dramatic improvement on his debut, which hindsight has rendered naive and a considerable step up from the knockabout swing of ‘Sunny Side Up’, enjoyable as it was.
But why the gap?
“I wanted to live a bit,” says the 27-year-old.
“What was I going to write about? My first-world problems on the tour bus? ‘Oh I never had a bath robe in my five-star hotel’, ‘My spa wasn’t included in my room rate’ or ‘My double espresso was cold when it arrived’? That’s an album I don’t want to hear.”
He’s got a point, and despite most artists knowing the pitfalls of writing about their stardom, so many don’t heed the warnings and plough on regardless.
Thankfully Nutini knew better, and decided to travel to give himself something to write about.
“I hadn’t lived that much before my first album. I felt some growing pains that I wanted to figure out, so off I went.”
He didn’t venture too far afield. He spent some time in the Caribbean, and Amsterdam, where a planned fortnight turned into a few months when his band joined him and work began on what would become the new album.
While on his extended holiday, there were always musical ideas floating around, a melody sung into an iPhone here, a chord progression there, and all of the travelling was done with a guitar on his back.
‘Caustic Love’ was recorded over a long period of time, although given how much Nutini enjoys talking and digressing, it’s actually hard to get a straight answer from him.
He’s a natural raconteur, and can hold court on everything, from Scottish Independence - he’s not willing to disclose which side he comes down on - to classic soul music. He is, in short, in extremely good spirits; animated and lively.
“Well, I’m excited,” he says by way of an explanation. “I want everything to be done with conviction, otherwise I’m just going to make people feel bad for coming to see me play.”