Photo by Alice Brace

Some quirk of fate lead me to an industry party in the Tate Modern; industry never seeming such an appropriate word as I approached the former power station-turned-art gallery. Upon entry, the hosts, Warner Brothers Records, had bedecked the vast concrete expanse of the Turbine Hall in smoke machines and a light show on the east wall, giving a mystic, outter-space aura to the event. Continuing on to the main venue, situated a floor beneath the renowned art gallery, various large art installations perched in corners and archways, covering all walks of art from communism (“I hate the communists, 1970″) to a fluorescent, ultraviolet ping-pong parlour.

The champagne and cocktails were poured as canapés were passed about like pamphlets and the crowd mixed with one another. It was when I was helping myself to my (more than) fair share of complimentary Moët that I heard  “Coming Up Easy” through the speakers and realised that after several hours’ mingling and wandering, Paolo Nutini had graced the stage.

Designer dresses, killer heels and tailored suits all united in singing along and welcoming the Scottish singer as he and his brass section powered through a set of new classics from the second album, Sunny Side Up, and a few new songs, introduced simply as “this is one of my new songs” – an unexpected delight which built anticipation for a long-awaited third album. Despite the notable lack of songs from These Streets, Paolo certainly impressed with his minimal, high-energy, set-list and was enjoyed by all as he exited stage-right to the sound of the crowd’s rapturous applause. As if like clockwork, Mark Ronson had already assembled himself at the DJ decks.

In a matter of seconds we where bamboozled by Ronson’s record – or rather, MP3 – collection which covered everything form classic 90s dance tunes from the likes of Daft Punk, to cheesy pop classics, to tracks so fresh that I imagine they’d barely finished downloading from the fourth dimension when he mixed them in with Prince.

Two contrasting but equally exciting sets, as both artists are closely linked with tonight’s Olympic Opening Ceremony in London. After performances as high calibre as these, there’s reassurance that the following fortnight will be as historic for music as it will be for sport; with Hyde Park hosting some of the greatest, and most generous live events in forthcoming evenings and afternoons.

About The Author

Alice Brace

"Introducing" editor at Hooting and Howling. Mostly interested in little bands with big sounds (and brass sections). Twitter: @AliceSwelly