REVIEW: Nerina Pallot – Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh

Nerina Pallot
Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, 14/12/13

Talented Brit and Ivor Novello Award nominee Nerina Pallot continued her Lonely Valentine Club Tour in Edinburgh by proving once again that she is one of the UK’s finest singer-songwriters.

The intimate surroundings of the Pleasance Theatre proved the ideal venue for the show, which saw Pallot ditch the band in favour of a completely solo show – just a piano, a guitar and her beautiful, disarming voice. And that only served to show just what a talent Nerina Pallot is. Without a full band behind her, the spotlight shone more fiercely on the quality of the songs, a place where the Jersey-born star excels.

Plenty of tracks came from her best-selling album Fires, including breakthrough single Everybody’s Gone to War – which Pallot admitted she had gone through a period of not playing “like a petulant teenager”- along with Idaho and the incredible Human.

Mr King, Daphne and Apollo and History Boys may be heart breaking but they were also transporting, proving Pallot’s ability to penetrate the most intimate and private emotions. Lost in these poignant songs, her voice soared like a dove, and the simplicity of which she sang about the tragedy of war seemed to move the audience almost to tears.

Being a Nerina Pallot show, there were also the predictable ramblings between songs which are almost as entertaining as the tracks themselves. This time she voiced her opinion on reusable nappies as well as an offer to play at the wedding of any couple that had met at any of her gigs.

Treating us to a live performance of the four new songs from her Lonely Valentine ClubEP, Pallot’s soaring vocals are perfectly accompanied by her solo piano and guitar-playing. A highlight among the new numbers is a hastily-written composition, Love Is An Unmade Bed, which dissects the ins and outs of a love-affair suffering from diminishing returns. The songs on the set list centre around the themes of unrequited love and the growing domesticity between couples, which Pallot jokingly insists are most certainly not about her marriage to record producer Andy Chatterley.

The new EP also includes an unexpected cover of CeCe Peniston’s 1992 single ‘Finally’, reworked into a stripped-back, piano ballad that manages to retain the joyful declaration of a new love and is, at the same time, underlined by a sombre soundscape.

This may sound like an evening of lamenting lost loves, yet as the rosé flows onstage and Pallot shares the despair of her St Valentine’s Days past, there is a distinctly jovial atmosphere between the singer and the audience, who appreciate Pallot’s humorous, self-deprecating musings on love.

Pallot closed the show with radio favourite Put Your Hands Up but returned for an inevitable encore of Sophia, a ballad of desperate burning and unfulfilled love which has become a highlight of her concerts as she confesses: “Sophia, Sophia I’m learning that some things I can’t go without/And one of them is him.”


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