No Alibis bookshop on Botanic Avenue was given a real Americana treat this warm Wednesday evening when Virginia's own Paul Curreri stopped by. The singer songwriter was greeted with a fairly good ratio of people to books and was seated up front, aptly beside an abstract painting of a cowboy. He begins with a short anecdote - a humourous memory of a gig he once played and it works well to create a friendly atmosphere in the small room.
We listen to a mix of old and new including Azalea, The Wasp, Long Gone Again and the more recent Once Upon a Rooftop. Every song has a back-story and is delivered with a soft spoken charm that has everyone listening. Curreri's guitar work is seamless; he makes what is probably a tightly rehearsed piece look natural and unintimidating. Needless to say, on the finger-picking front, ATL is very jealous.
Two moments in particular have to be shared; the first being Curreri's sneeze mid song which he swore to us had "never happened to [him] before" and secondly his encore-indicating flee to the toilet door due to a lack of back stage facilities.
He closes with a song written and dedicated to his equally talented wife Devon Sproule; to the crowd it is like stumbling upon a bohemian love note. This idea in itself captures the essence of the evening - it was a rarity experienced by a lucky few. With this in mind, ATL is sure that Belfast's doors will be open in the future for the return of Mr Paul Curreri.