Lewis Capaldi at Princes Street Gardens Summer Sessions review: 'A brilliant show from a born performer'

Well, how much ink and how many pixels have been splurged on the Bathgate Baritone in the last 12 months? It’s a shame really as he’s evidently a publicity shy, wilting flower type who hates the limelight and we should all just leave him alone. Aye, right. This guy is having a ball.

By Chris Mackinnon
Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 8:00 am
Lewis Capaldi: Getty Images
Lewis Capaldi: Getty Images

And as evidenced by the two sell-out crowds at the Summer Sessions, so are his many fans.

He’s been touring his debut album most of this year and landed in the gardens for what must be described as a homecoming. Amusingly, he stole a bit of Glastonbury/Corbyn glory, the crowd seemingly improvising an “oh, Lewis Capaldi” to the tune of 7 Nation Army before he was even on stage.

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Lewis Capaldi: Getty Images

His entrance was augmented by a massive confetti cannon blast plus a huge RAF bomber passing overhead. The latter was something to do with the Tattoo I’m assured, although he’d likely claim otherwise.

As he’s only been around a few years and is one album in, the set list was always obvious but I don’t mean that as a slight as it’s a damn fine piece of work and he very much delivered, playing all bar a couple from it.

His inter-song chats are a lesson in self-deprecation (as are the songs) laced with audience abuse and if the music career dries up (it won’t) he could cut a fine furrow in stand-up comedy.

After Don’t Get Me Wrong someone down front sent a bra stagewards and he wore it on his head, lamenting that “This is my job” and during Rush he announced: “Welcome to the stage, Paolo Nutini”. This prompted a big cheer but was a blatant fib.

After Hollywood, he confessed that after having drunk so much water, he’d accidentally wee’d himself. “If there’s anyone out there from the papers, please don’t mention that”. Okay, Iwon’t.

But he left the best until last. He’d telegraphed the fact that he planned to end the set just as the fireworks started at the Tattoo and playing a one song encore in the shape of Someone You Loved, he kept repeating the chorus (with much help from the throng) until hopefully, they kicked off. They didn’t, so he improvised by playing a short version of you know who’s Don’t Look Back In Anger, prompting much laughter.

And as the castle duly delivered the pyrotechnics, he acknowledged that he “cannae finish on an Oasis song” and reverted back to his last number and completed the set properly.

This was a brilliant show from a born performer whose only issue must be what does he do next?

Lewis Capaldi – 13th August – Princes Street Gardens6 out of 7 stars