Music

Lewis Capaldi has audience in the palm of his hand during London tour despite vocal issues


Lewis Capaldi playing the Brixton O2 Academy last night (Picture: BackGrid)

Despite vocal issues which meant the show was cut short, Lewis Capaldi proved why he’s Britain’s biggest and brightest new pop star as he held the audience in the palm of his hand.

You would be hard pressed to find a UK music act as successful as Lewis Capaldi in the last twelve months. In the past year, he’s gone from a long-haired indie-pop crooner to veritable meme machine and performer of the biggest song in the world, holder of a US number one and a Grammy nominated artist.

If the success has changed him, however, it doesn’t show. Returning to the UK on tour a breakout superstar, it’s actually surprising how tongue-in-cheek the concept of the tour is, despite the music being as heartfelt and tender as you can probably get.

The Scottish singer enters onto the stage with a burst of gothic, operatic music straight out of Star Wars. I’m pretty sure it’s from the bit where Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi fight to the death in Revenge of the Sith. Capaldi’s not a Jedi master fighting for his life on his tour, however, but I think in a weird way he’s trying to inject a bit of humour into the obviously emotional evening we’re all about to have. As if to say: it’s not that bad really.

The Scottish singer had the audience in the palm of his hand (Picture: BACKGRID)

The songs featured on Capaldi’s blockbuster debut album, which the tour is named after, have struck a chord with the entire country – and slowly encroaching the rest of the world too – because of their emotional honesty. There’s obviously The Big One – the breakthrough song that we’ll get to discuss later, but if you were a newcomer to the Capaldi Musical; Universe you’d be forgiven to think that every song he played had been a number one, million-selling hit the way the crowds sang and shouted the words back to him on stage. 

From his debut single, the tender Grace, the affecting Bruises and the just-released Before You Go every single member of the 5,000-strong crowd was fully, fully entranced as they sunk deeper and deeper into Capaldi’s world. Being sad never sounded so good. 

It’s when he diverts from the weepy ballads, however, that he truly shines = and brings a little hint of maybe what fans can look forward to in the future. There’s the one solid bop of his debut LP. the nihilistic Hollywood that lifts the emotional fog that seemed to have surrounded the venue for most of the show. Then, there’s a veritable light-show (which conjures images of Chocolate-era The 1975 with its cinematic quality) for early-career single Fade too, which hints that Capaldi is a capable showman as much as he is a balladeer.

The audience took over singing duties for the last song (Picture: Getty)

What makes this all the more impressive is that the singer was clearly plagued throughout the show by the vocal issues that necessitated the cancellation of the next three dates on the tour

Towards the end of the show, however (and a five-minute section of miming sports move to save his voice, we assume) things seemed to take their toll. This did, of course, crescendo with the encore and the introduction of the aforementioned Big One – mega-ballad Someone You Loved, which just secured the Scottish singer-songwriter his first Grammy nominations. 

‘Thank you for singing along when I couldn’t,’ the star said to the audience before playing his signature song. ‘This last song you are going to have to take the lion’s share of.’

He’s Britain’s biggest new pop star for a reason (Picture: Gus Stewart/Redferns)

And do you know what? They did. The ceiling was practically reverberating with the volume of 5,000 people screaming their favourite song back at their favourite artist. It made me love the song a lot more. It made me love Capaldi a lot more. To tell you the truth, I haven’t listened to anything else today (you’re welcome for the streams, Lewis). 

If anything, though, Capaldi’s vocal issues only go to show just how much of a star he now is. How much he’s endeared himself to people and how much he’s managed to build himself a massive, massive audience. 

For the last song, he may not have been singing much, but he had the entire audience in the palm of his hand, and I don’t think they ever wanted to leave. 



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MORE: Lewis Capaldi forced to cut London concert short over vocal issues as he apologises to upset fans

MORE: Lewis Capaldi’s new song is about his aunt’s death by suicide: ‘What could I have done?’





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