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Paolo Nutini - Son Of Ayr Beach

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:36 UK time, Thursday, 4 October 2007

Paolo Nutini

Yep, you read that right. Paolo Nutini is a son of Ayr beach. We know this because we asked him about it. In fact, we asked him about all sorts of seaside-y things, because it's important to know how people who can write songs and play guitars act when they are relaxing on a towel on a hot day. As it turns out, Paolo has some very particular wants and needs when he's setting out for a beach-side day off - and I don't mean a blinged-up pop star bucket and spade...

Here's what happened when ChartBlog reporter Hannah Heywood met up with Paolo at a beach-front location to talk sand, paddling, and shoes in carrier bags...

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ChartBlog: Do you like to be beside the seaside?
Paolo: Yeah.

ChartBlog: Where's your local beach?
Paolo: That would be Ayr beach. Ayr beach is not really a seaside. It's like, sort of clutching for seaside, though...

ChartBlog: Is that a long journey from where you live?
Paolo: No it's a short train ride.

ChartBlog: Do you get a lot of possessive locals getting grumpy cos the tourists take over?
Ayr beach, yesterdayPaolo: No, Ayr isn't that bad yet. I dunno, Ayr beach is fine. [Thinks] I've been really lucky though, we've went along to a good few countries and I've seen the beaches there. The best beaches I've ever been on would be Jamaica. It's not so much beach as coral reef and water. It's just mind-blowing. One time we went there and they took us out into the middle of the water. 40 minutes in the boat, we had to order what we wanted to eat beforehand...kingfisher lobster...so it would give the guy 40 minutes to catch and cook the fish. We got there and standing solitary in the middle of the sea is this little shack. That's just the way they did it.

ChartBlog: Are you a sea-swimmer, or would you be put off by all these stories about great white sharks?
Paolo: That was just some kid with a fin on his back, y'know! I don't really like messing too much with the sea, y'know. There's some things in there you can feel below your feet and you're like...[disgusted face]...

ChartBlog: Have you ever walked along a prom-prom-prom, while a brass band plays ANYTHING?
Paolo: [laughs] I've walked many streets where there's been bands playing, but I've not stopped to sing or anything...[thinks]...yeah, I suppose I have! In Germany they do a lot of that. Not so much a brass band as oompah bands were playing the last time I was on the streets of Hamburg.

Brass band

ChartBlog: When you go paddling, do you leave your shoes and socks, and walk across the sand to the sea, or do you take them off at the water's edge?
Paolo: See, sand is nice, water's nice...mix the two and they become awful. I think you've got to keep that away from your shoes, keep that away from your socks, no risk of the two getting in. Cos then when it dries its...[ick face]...you've got to keep your shoes in a safe place. No sand, a sand-free zone, wrap them up, cos then later on, a few days later they'll still look like this [shows good shoes]

ChartBlog: When you're at the beach, do you bring a lot of stuff, like rugs, parasols, wind-breaks, picnic benches...
Paolo: Picnic benches?

ChartBlog: Well, whatever you can carry...
Paolo: Last time I went to the beach we were doing some promotion, and it was very sunny, so the sand was on fire. You have to do that scamper along, or you dig your feet in really deep and go [contented sigh] "ahhhh!". I think you've got to take the bare minimum though, cos you can't trust it. There's this guy selling a towel, this guy selling jewellery, don't be leaving your stuff kicking about else it'll go. I think a park bench would be grand. And fair play if you can get it there!

Paolo's Bench

ChartBlog: Do you need to take entertainment with you, like a book or a frisbee or a complete volleyball kit?
Paolo: I sleep a lot at the beach. You go for a swim...when I was younger I used to like the waves as big as possible. You'd throw yourself into them and toss yourself about. I remember one of the best times I've had at the beach was in the morning when it was raining really heavily and the waves were really high. Me and my cousin went down and we got thrown around by the waves. And then you go to sleep! You come back for a lie down and then you wake up three hours later, and have a last go round on the waves.

ChartBlog: Three hours? You weren't worried about sunburn?
Paolo: No, I'm lucky. My dad - the Italian side of things - has given me good skin. [Thoughtful] Sometimes...do you ever get horrible little sweat...bubble things? I dunno, tiny little white...and then they all rise from your skin and make your skin feel like leather?

ChartBlog: Er...no. Nice tan though...
Paolo: It's fading, man, it's fading fast. The beach tan is going. I don't mind...

ChartBlog: When was the last time you had sandwiches with real sand in them?
Paolo: Never, for as long as I can remember. I've eaten sand at the beach as a kid. I've got photos to prove it. Me with sand in my mouth. But I've never actually...I'm very careful with sand in things. I've told you I wrap up my shoes, one of my sandwiches would go nowhere NEAR it!

ChartBlog: Do you find, as a guy, when you're on a pebble beach you immediately start scanning for potential skimming stones?
Paolo: I can't skim.

paolo_skim.jpgChartBlog: [Appalled] You can't? I was gonna ask how many bounces you can do?
Paolo: I dunno, three? Not big nice lengthy skims that cover a good area, just tiny little ones. Two and a fail.

ChartBlog: How much stuff do you like on an ice-cream? Flake? Syrup? Sprinkles?
Paolo: I think flake. You don't want to go any further than that. I like Zaps! Remember Zaps? You had your cheap ones, your little ones on a stick...what are those?

ChartBlog: Mini milks?
Paolo: That's the game! Budget ice-cream. And where you get your Mini Milks you get your Zaps. Calippos are good for a laugh, cos you can't wait for them all to melt and drink them all in one.

ChartBlog: What's the best machine at the seaside arcade?
Paolo: I don't know if you get it everywhere, it's not very traditional. I like that one where you punch the thing, and it hits a target. You get three hits, and you get your best friend to take a photo. I don't like the idea of fighting very much, but I kind of like hitting that target.

ChartBlog: Do you like the coin waterfall?
Paolo: They are rubbish. RUBBISH! I can't believe I've wasted that many 2ps, 10ps. The best ones are when you go for the one with the PSP in it, and expect those coins to move! They're going NOWHERE, and neither is the PSP.

ChartBlog: If you were to draw your initials in the sand with a big loveheart all around them and an arrow through it, whose initials would be in it with yours?
Paolo: It would be PN and TP, for Teri, my girlfriend.

ChartBlog: Have you ever buried something or someone on the beach and lost it/them?
Paolo: No. I've been buried...actually I was one the beach once in a sandstorm - in Morocco, I think - and someone lost a park bench.

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Click for picture galleryHere's a gallery of pics taken while the interview was going on.
WARNING: Contains scenes of extreme tummy-forest-ness, which some viewers may find disturbing...

Paolo Nutini is also available in website form...
And MySpace form...

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