Scotland’s own Lewis Capaldi has been smashing it this year, playing across the US and now jaunting back to the UK for a night in Glasgow.
It was only a little over a year ago that Lewis played his first headline show at King Tut’s- the launching pad for countless musicians. He has since played a set at the inaugural TRNSMT festival and is now playing to crowds in places like New York. It shows just how much difference a year can make.
Capaldi only has a handful of songs uploaded to Youtube, which in these times of saturated social media sites and constant streams of hopefuls uploading bedroom ballads, makes his ability to stand out all the more impressive.
One of those few songs online, Bruises, is a fans favourite and is as stripped back to say the least. A guy, his voice and a piano. This is a fairly accurate description of the majority of Capaldi’s repertoire.
In fact, it’s probably a good job no one holds up their lighters at gigs anymore because they would be held up for this entire set, heating the room to an uncomfortable temperature and leaving the crowd without a light for the rest of the night. Still, I’d rather be back to those days when taking into account the intermittent puffs of vape clouds turning every recent concert into a low-budget 80s fantasy film.
Throughout the gig, Capaldi interspersed the songs with chat that made him all the more likeable – funny, self-deprecating and humble. He even gave the inciteful, instant review of one song, “That was sad, wasn’t it?”
The set included some of Capaldi’s newer material such as Rush, the new single out 23rd February, as well as what are already known as fan favourites. Lost on You opened the set and introduced Capaldi to the already endeared Glasgow crowd. Mercy also made an appearance, but it was the aforementioned Bruises, played as the encore, that was the most impactful song of the night, Capaldi backed by the entire crowd of the O2 ABC before they were sent on their way into the wilderness of Sauchiehall Street.
Comparisons to Paisley’s Paulo (Nutini)… (as opposed to all those other Paulos kicking about Paisley) are inevitable given Capaldi’s strong, raspy, pained vocals and to be honest I don’t think it is an unfair comparison. Paulo may have had a few upbeat pop songs up his sleeve as opposed to Capaldi’s dark ballads but there is a definite shared space between the two.
Lewis Capaldi hasn’t reached the level of Paulo at his peak, but talent and trajectory suggest that he is well on his way there, possibly beyond.
Review by Luke Hawkins