Lewis Capaldi performing on the First Direct Enviornment in Leeds on 14 January 2023 (Shutterstock)
Lewis Capaldi is making an attempt to not choke to loss of life on confetti. One music into the primary night time of a gargantuan world tour and the confetti cannons have gone off, showering the viewers at Leeds enviornment in small strips of white paper. “Trigger I’m not prepared,” he splutters, “to search out out you understand how to overlook me.” It’s not essentially the most dignified begin, however, then, Capaldi by no means did appear too involved about that.
Capaldi is the UK music trade’s golden boy. Charisma, candid songwriting and vocal comparisons to Adele led to a handful of Brit Awards, a Grammy nomination and sold-out enviornment excursions. He shrugs off critics or else comes again at them with impish glee. After Noel Gallagher described his music as “wank”, Capaldi walked onto the Different Stage at Glastonbury sporting a parka and a T-shirt with the Oasis star’s face inside a coronary heart image. He’s very onerous to hate.
There’s a palpable Nineties boyband vibe tonight, not simply due to the bra that will get flung onstage (Capaldi tries it on for measurement). Whereas the stage itself is freed from props, an enormous display screen ripples and blazes with color – earlier than the present, a Bon Iver-style autotune of him singing his new album title is performed. The Scottish singer leans into the schmaltz of singles corresponding to opener “Neglect Me” from his debut album, with its propulsive drumbeats and his personal galvanising holler. He’s clad in white denim; his band are on raised platforms behind him in matching outfits. “We’re sporting white fits as a result of we’re all virgins,” the 26-year-old tells the group. As at all times, the gig is half music, half comedy.
A number of of the songs on tonight’s setlist have by no means been performed earlier than. Capaldi is at present making ready to launch Damaged By Want to Be Heavenly Despatched, the follow-up to his record-breaking, tongue-twisting 2019 debut Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent. New tracks take advantage of his voice – gravel swirling inside a glass of whisky – apart from saccharine ballad “Pointless”, which has co-writer Ed Sheeran’s fingerprints throughout it. “I carry her espresso within the morning,” Capaldi croons, “She brings me internal peace/ I take her out to fancy eating places/ She takes the unhappiness out of me.” A mug of Nescafe is a uncooked deal for making your associate “a greater man”, in case you ask me. He appears conscious of this too, admitting: “I f***ing hate these first two traces.”
“How I Feeling Now” from the forthcoming report tackles psychological well being struggles with lyrical candour: “No sense of self, however self-obsessed/ I’m at all times caught inside my f***ing head.” On the plaintive “Fade,” he pairs references to his hometown of Glasgow with an formidable, Don Henley-indebted Eighties soundscape. A battle breaks out between two followers, bizarrely, after “Misplaced On You”, a forlorn piano-based quantity about seeing an ex-partner with another person. “Who gained?” Capaldi asks.
Later, he overcomes vertigo from a platform suspended 20 toes above the bottom (“I’m s***ing myself”), as he delivers a dizzying falsetto for early single “Bruises”. A second burst of confetti arrives amid the vocal gymnastics of “Your Grace”, 2018’s prime 10 hit, nevertheless it’s “Somebody You Cherished”, his emotionally fraught breakthrough hit of the next 12 months, that closes the present. You’d assume the joke-cracking would put on skinny after time; that Capaldi’s followers would need him to take these heartfelt songs extra severely. However his self-effacing allure is half the enjoyable. And nobody does it in addition to him.