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At the end of a bizarre heat wave in October, where the weather was just turning into the typically bitter cold accustomed to this time of year, Nerina Pallot took to the stage, and without doubt kept the warmth burning inside our hearts a little longer. She opened with ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Turn Me On Again’, two soft, yet upbeat rock songs from her new album, ‘Year of the Wolf’. At the end of the second song was when Pallot finally spoke, kidding herself that she could get away with doing the whole show in silence, before bellowing, arms outstretched, “Hello Manchester!!!”, to which a huge roar echoed the air, followed by an avid fan screaming, “I love you Nerina,” bringing a sincere smile and sharp joke directed at her husband in reply.  Her initial tongue in cheek aim to remain silent was blown out of the water from then on as a series of anecdotes, theories and quick witted humour followed between songs, which made the audience laugh affectionately.

Moving onto the slower tunes in her catalogue, a mixture of keyboard and acoustic guitar was used to emphasise the raw emotion, sometimes on her own as the band dispersed the stage to let her do what she does best, create highly poignant music, with true to life, powerful lyrics, usually about finding inner strength that we all empathised with. Whilst she played these smooth and moving numbers, you could’ve heard a pin drop as the audience observed in a silence of touching appreciation, the velvet and angelic voice of Pallot filling the air and our hearts, running over us like a calm wave, wrapping us tightly in a ball of safety and reassurance.

A couple of times she admitted to choking up as she sang these highly personal songs, and I doubt that she was the only one to do so in the audience. The emotional songs continued before the rest of the band returned to produce some excellent and bouncy soft rock numbers off the new album, with some very impressive guitar riffs giving the place a lift as we neared the finale. The penultimate song was a cover of Beyonce’s, ‘Crazy in Love’, something Pallot likes to do at live shows, perform a cover song with a different outlook, and this version had a slightly more rock feel, giving a new dimension to the original. For the finale, she finished with the fans’ new favourite off the latest album, ‘Put Your Hands Up’, which got the crowd dancing and rocking to this feel good, joyous track. Pallot returned to play two more tracks, demanded by the faithful, treating the audience to eighteen songs in total.

What I loved most about Pallot’s style is her ability to blend moods throughout the show with songs that can interchange between uplifting and liberating to a more solemn and sombre style, not an easy feat to accomplish with genuine honesty.  Her rapport with the audience makes it easier to connect, bringing herself to our level, sharing personal stories, experiences and a dry, witty humour throughout the show, aided by her love of rose. She’s a truly great, soulful performer, possessing such passion that deserves to be up there heading charts, rather than floating in the confines of a loyal fan base, thus presenting another example of the falseness and lack of real talent that smears commercialism. Whatever capacity Pallot is involved in, whether that is singing or song writing, the industry is sure to have music that is eloquent in style and lyrics that have honest, sentimental value attached the core as long as she’s around.

Set List

Turn Me On Again
Real Late Starter
I Do Not Want What I Do Not Have
Everybody’s Gone To War
Mr. King
History Boys
It Starts
Geek Love
Better Than Today
All Bets Are Off
Crazy In Love (Beyonce Cover)
Put Your Hands Up



Review by Nigel Cartner
Photos by Mel [full set of photos here:]

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