T in the Park 2014: Calvin Harris vs Paolo Nutini
- Nicola Meighan
- 23 June 2014
We see how Scotland's two local boys done good measure up side by side
Real Name: Adam Richard Wiles
Born: 1984, Dumfries
Job description: DJ, singer, songwriter, producer.
Alternative job prospects: Harris claims if he'd had curly hair, he'd have been a footballer. His straight follicles intervened, and are thus responsible for his pop stranglehold.
Vital statistics: Harris' debut album, I Created Disco (2007), peaked at Number 3 on the UK charts, and was certified gold (100k sales approx). Its 2009 follow-up, Ready For The Weekend, topped the charts and was also awarded gold status, while 2012's Number 1, 18 Months, saw him bag the record (previously held by Michael Jackson) for having the most Top 10 hits – nine, no less – on one studio album.
Big Break: Cast your mind back to 2006 and you may recall a particularly mind-melding MySpace page – all retro-neon riffage, electro-hooks and Atari homages – belonging to one Calvin Harris. The pop-glare of his cyber home, teamed with his evident dancefloor chops, as honed on early singles under the Stouffer pseudonym, bagged him major label recording and publishing deals.
Early days: Harris' first UK hit was 2007's electro-clash anthem, 'Acceptable in the 80s' (which of course it still remains, provided you're referring to donning shoulder pads, quaffing geometric cocktails, or extolling the virtues of Boy Meets Girl).
Latest antics: Harris' hi-octane tech-pop smash, 'Summer', was released this March, and immediately swiped the Number 1 spot. A new album is imminent.
Collaborations: Harris' CV reads like an encyclopedia of modern pop: he's worked with Kylie, Dizzee Rascal and Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, and Example; Kelis, Florence Welch and Nick Cave. (OK, that last one's a lie, but never say never).
Controversies: The finger often points to the day that Harris accused Chris Brown of stealing his song (he claimed 'Yeah 3x' plagiarised 'I'm Not Alone', and subsequently received a writing credit) or the time that he fabricated the loss of his new album (Ready for the Weekend) to buy himself recording time – but both events are eclipsed by the emergence of a tropical fruit. In 2009, Harris invaded an X Factor performance by surrealist-pop geminis Jedward, brandishing a pineapple on his napper, while drawing undue attention to his nethers. He was forcibly removed from the building.
Real Name: Paolo Giovanni Nutini
Born: 1987, Paisley
Job description: Singer, songwriter, musician.
Alternative job prospects: Nutini's family famously run the Castelvecchi fish and chip shop in Paisley. Nutini was expected to follow in his family's footsteps, although he admits to a dearth of skill when it comes to deep-frying Mars Bars.
Vital statistics: Nutini's debut album, These Streets (2006), peaked at Number 3, was certified 5-times platinum (roughly 1.5m sales) and spent almost 200 consecutive weeks in the UK charts. Its follow-up, Sunny Side Up (2009), debuted at Number 1 and also chalked up 5-times platinum sales. His new album, Caustic Love, released in April, entered at Number 1 and is, at the time of writing, the fastest-selling LP of 2014. Phew.
Big Break: Back in 2002, Fame Academy was television's reality pop king and an affable bloke called David Sneddon was elected its croon prince. Sneddon was late for his eagerly awaited winner's homecoming gig in Paisley Town Hall, so organisers Radio Clyde filled time with an impromptu talent show. Local boy (and Speedway roadie) Nutini, then 15, was goaded into singing over Elton John's 'Your Song', and swiftly charmed the crowed, including one Brendan Moon, who became his manager and signed him up with Atlantic records.
Early releases: Nutini released a bona fide contemporary-soul classic in his debut single, 'Last Request' (2007) – a timeless, ragged bruised-pop ballad which has driven your correspondent to entirely uncalled-for karaoke shame on more than one occasion.
Latest antics: Nutini's third album, Caustic Love, is cause for celebration – a woozy, vintage R&B thrill – as is our gravelly charmer's predilection for covering Chvrches' 'Recover' live.
Collaborations: He's sung with Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and the Rolling Stones, with whom he once rehearsed in a Travelodge. He's played with Led Zeppelin. And R&B cosmic voyager Janelle Monae raps through 'Fashion' on his latest album.
Controversies: One of Nutini's lesser-known country-blues chorales is entitled, 'The Sun Can Kiss My Arse' – a song he debuted at T in the Park in 2007, and dedicated to a certain tabloid newspaper. Sunny side up, indeed.