Live Review: Lewis Capaldi | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Live Review: Lewis Capaldi

James Hill has a quick catch-up with up-and-coming singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi before attending his O2 Institute gig

With a tortured and soulful sound that belies his mere 21 years of age, Lewis Capaldi is set for great things in the coming years. A confident and effusive interviewee, Capaldi highlights that his ‘influences are undoubtedly the likes of Paolo Nutini, because he is both Scottish and possesses that strong voice which I try to emulate’. Vocal comparisons aside, Capaldi has a lot in common with his countryman. Notably, on songs such as ‘Bruises’, ‘Lost on You’ and ‘Fade’ he reaches elegiac heights. 

This has been aided by the excellent production of Malay, a collaborator of Frank Ocean’s, which is reflected in the aching choruses of ‘Bruises’ et al. Capaldi is ‘constantly aware of the singer songwriter cliché of some guy with a guitar or a piano’, and is always trying to improve on his already commanding voice. Indeed, he describes his voice ‘as originally being of a higher pitch’ but ‘learnt by practise and rendition to lower his voice to the deeper registers’ for which he is most well-known. 

With a tortured and soulful sound that belies his mere 21 years of age, Lewis Capaldi is set for great things in the coming years

The sparse location of the gig at the O2 Institute truly allows for the exploration of Capaldi’s vocal range, with frequent asides to the audience that never veer into the glib or patronising. Here is an artist who in his own words is ‘still amazed to be able to play in venues like this’, and this is reflected in the childlike glee with which he throws himself into the music. ‘Ed Sheeran really paved the way for this generation and I’m hoping to plough my own furrow and do things my way’, Capaldi enthuses, and enthusiasm is the current which propels the live show. Frequent shouts from the crowd underscore the love that Capaldi’s fledgling fan base has for the ginger Scotsman. He knows how to play a crowd and provoke the predominantly couple-orientated multitude to sing his songs back to him with gusto. 

Here is an artist who in his own words is ‘still amazed to be able to play in venues like this’, and this is reflected in the childlike glee with which he throws himself into the music

Capaldi, yet to release an album but with one slated for next year, has the ability to move people with his sparse arrangements and earthy voice. After having gone on tour for bearded darling Rag’n’Bone Man over the last few months, an artist he describes as ‘massive and lovely’, Lewis Capaldi is an artist on the rise and, having been shortlisted in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 poll, he is well on his way to reaching new heights. 2018 better watch itself. 



Published

13th December 2017 at 9:00 am



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