Lewis Capaldi

BBC Radio 1 Presents @ Croxteth Park 6/8/19

After selling out a UK arena tour before his debut album was even released in May this year, LEWIS CAPALDI, or otherwise known as, ‘The Scottish Beyoncé’, has been storming the charts, breaking the internet and making some celebrity frenemies along the way. So, when it was announced that Capaldi was playing a special one-off gig at Liverpool’s Croxteth Park for BBC Radio 1, with the backing of a full orchestra in the form of the Manchester Camerata band, it was little surprise that it sold out in minutes.

With the sun setting, The Manchester Camerata provide a dramatic introduction in the form of a medley of Capaldi’s now well-known songs. The classical twist on the chart favourite’s music is a nod to how special this show is going to be. The combination is dramatic and full of emotion, modern and refreshing.

In classic festival style, the crowd start chanting “LEWIS CAPALDI!” to the tune of The White Stripes’ now unavoidable Seven Nation Army melody. He walks on stage bursting into his hit single, Grace. Fans belt out the lyrics back to Capaldi word perfectly and the usually simple piano and acoustic guitar led track erupts into a chorus of dramatic strings, delicate woodwind and deep percussion. It’s enough for the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end. Capaldi’s voice is also pitch perfect, if not better than it is on the album, as his gravelly voice compliments the booming orchestra behind him. It all proves his popularity is very well deserved – who doesn’t love a dramatic ballad every now and then?

For those who aren’t familiar with Lewis Capaldi, he is not only well known for his heartbreak ballads but also for his cheeky Scottish banter. The fast-rising Scot has taken Twitter and Instagram by storm over the last 10 months and his mid-set chats have become just as entertaining as his musical performance. He offers an emotional sing-a-long and comedy show rolled into one. Talking about everything from his dressed up attire, the Scousers he’s ran into, to apologising for the amount of times he’s said ‘fuck’ in the last five minutes (the concert is for the BBC after all), he then thanks the crowd for turning up to listen to a bunch of sad songs in a field at his biggest headline show to date. It’s also his first gig in Liverpool, “And if you’re going to come to Liverpool, you come with a big fuck off orchestra!” he asserts. His quota of ‘fucks’ have definitely been used up by now. He is right though, we don’t like to do things by halves in Liverpool.

Capaldi works his way through every song on his number one album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, with songs like Hollywood, Hold Me While You Wait and Bruises proving to be stand out tracks. He throws in a cover of Yesterday by The Beatles too, which, you know, everyone does when in Liverpool. It actually goes down very well; the 22-year-old can do no wrong, it seems.

Ending on his biggest hit to date, Someone You Loved, you can hear everyone in the crowd screaming the lyrics out along with him. His songs clearly hit a personal note with a lot of people and when he stops to let everyone sing the chorus alone, you can see the raw emotion on his face as he takes in the scenes before him. A mass of fireworks ends his set but also signals the start of career for a performer who can keep thousands of people captivated in a field with a bunch of beautiful sad songs and humble Scottish patter. He makes it look easy.

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