Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 09/02/2013 | Nerina Pallot – St George’s, Bristol

09/02/2013 | Nerina Pallot – St George’s, Bristol

Lisa Ward


Nerina Pallot seems to have a love affair with breaking rules and tonight we’re also treated to various anecdotes which paint her as a walking disaster. Never allowed to speak in school assemblies, incapable of buying shoes she can walk in, and unable to remember her set list (which leaves her strumming a G chord and searching for inspiration); somehow there’s a divide between her stage presence and the paper versions of Nerina which focus on her Brit and Ivor Novello nominations. This is of course until she sings.

Tonight, as with any other, Nerina’s performance is faultless, the Steinway Grand complementing her warm and emotive vocals. Whether it’s the ivory driven It Starts or the guitar led Human she displays her musical dexterity and ability to bring new life to older songs, leaving each number feeling like it’s the first time it’s been delivered live. This means that the new songs fall into the set with ease, especially Once which laments a desire for good fortune.

The set also seems to confirm that Nerina loves to play on paradoxes, with her saccharine vocals often delivering songs of despair. She has also chosen for tonight to be part of a larger ‘Lonely Valentine Club Tour’ to match her latest EP, despite having exchanged vows with husband Andy Chatterley on Valentine’s Day. What’s also striking are the subtle variations in her songs. The F bomb is removed from Damascus and Geek Love sees ‘things’ in place of ‘shit’. This from someone who was happy to deliver When Did I Become Such a Bitch with full choir backing in Union Chapel seems like an unusual choice.

She also thwarts my assumption that she’s following the formulaic EP, mini tour, album route, by announcing that she’s working on a new album but that ‘it’s nowhere near finished, and it might never be finished’. Instead, she insists, she wants to be completely happy with it this time. Still, whilst she might be a fan of bending the rules, there’s one she’s not going to mess with and as she closes with Sophia in all its ear worm glory, it seems she knows what her fans are after.

Coupled with the addition of Mr King and Everybody’s Going To War earlier in the set, tonight feels more like a greatest hits show than a platform for the as yet unfinished new album or the EP. Furthermore it highlights that Nerina is the master of melancholic observational numbers, but is able to deliver them with such wry confessions about her own life that you can’t help but feel uplifted by the end of the set.


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