Lewis Capaldi @ Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh, 13 Aug

In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, Lewis Capaldi continues riding the wave of superstardom, and if tonight's anything to go by he'll be up there a long time

Live Review by Paul Sinclair | 16 Aug 2019
  • Lewis Capaldi live at Prices St Gardens (Ed), 13 Aug

At the first of two sold-out shows, thousands eagerly wait for Scotland’s favourite son Lewis Capaldi to emerge whilst chanting his name louder with each passing minute. By the time he appears onstage, through a confetti explosion which makes everyone jump out of their skin, the crowd reach Beatlemania levels of excitement for their local hero, confirming him as one of the hottest tickets in music right now.

“Do you like rock'n'roll?” he asks a rabid crowd. “Well fuck you 'cause I don't play any of that shit, if you like sad songs you're in luck,” he jokes. Kicking off with Grace, the opening track from his debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, and through songs like Bruises, Capaldi shows he's every bit the singer live as he is in the studio. As his voice reverberates around the gardens and his adoring audience sing their hearts out, people throw sunglasses on stage, with one overeager fan chucking a bra at him, which he politely thanks them for. 

Playing the slightly older Rush, Capaldi pulls the biggest bam-up of the evening: “Ladies and gentlemen, Paolo Nutini,” and as the crowd explodes into cheers and screams he finishes, “isnae fucking here.” Introducing Headspace as his favourite song on the album, he appears to tear up a little when hearing the audience sing along, explaining how the song had travelled with him, from before the fame to now.

Image: Lewis Capaldi by Gemma Bovenizer

After taking the time to thank tonight's support bands, Capaldi tells us that he’s planning to finish the show in conjunction with the fireworks display from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo taking place up at the Castle, the backdrop to tonight's show. “Lets pretend it's the end of the show, but I’m just killing time before the fireworks,” he says as he momentarily leaves the stage.

Finishing with the song that propelled him into the limelight, everyone in the gardens belts out Someone You Loved, singing the chorus over and over as Capaldi watches, joining in occasionally whilst enjoying a can. “They’ve pushed the fireworks back three minutes, do they not know I’ve a fuckin' gig on?” he jokes, grabbing a guitar and breaking into Don’t Look Back In Anger, a tune by his best pal Noel. “We’re not finishing with an Oasis song,” he laughs before repeating the last chorus of Someone You Loved as fireworks burst overhead – to say the moment is special is an understatement.

Tonight's gig feels like a get together with a pal you've known for years. Yes, the songs are all pretty sad, as Capaldi tells us continuously, but the overall mood and atmosphere is cheery,  Capaldi's antics and patter being just as much a part of the show as his music.

Lewis Capaldi is riding a wave of superstardom in 2019, and if tonight's show is anything to go by he'll be up there a long time. Oh, and don't worry about slightly peeing yourself onstage Lewis, your secret is safe with us.