What an incredible summer it has been for Glasgow singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, with a number 1 debut album and a packed schedule of open air concert and festival appearances.
Having grown his reputation through 2017 and 2018 with a mix of quality songs and madcap YouTube videos, Lewis began the current year with a worldwide hit on his hands. Someone You Loved charted in 29 countries and gave him his first number 1 single in the UK. He also became the first artist in history to announce, and sell out, an arena tour (for March 2020) before the release of his first album.
Lewis’s debut album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent was released on 17 May and was certified gold two days later. It spent six weeks at the top of the album chart and was, at the time, the biggest selling album in the UK for five years until it was passed by Ed Sheeran’s latest release.
The summer has seen Lewis on a relentless touring schedule taking in headline dates and festivals across the UK, including Glastonbury. ‘YAAAAS I’M PLAYING GLASTONBURY!!!! how did this happen,’ he posted on his Facebook page on learning he had been added to the line up. ‘Absolutely unreal!! Saturday 4pm on the Other Stage if u want to see me bottle it and end my career, not to be missed.’
Afterwards, on 9th July, he posted: ‘Can’t believe ya favourite big chubby celeb got to play Glastonbury, will never forget that! X’
Lewis had summer headline dates at Perth Concert Hall, Scarborough Open Air Theatre and, in August, two nights at the Edinburgh Summer Sessions, all of which were, naturally, sold out. After the Edinburgh shows Lewis recorded his thoughts on his Facebook page: ‘Two of the best nights of my entire life, biggest ever sold out shows back home in Scotland, over 6,000 of us 2 nights in a row!!! No idea how this happened, thank u all!!’
‘It’s been a mad year,’ said Lewis and, in his own amusing and self-effacing way, he admitted his surprise at his success. ‘Life is so much different to how it was at the start of the year. My album came out a few of months ago and the response has been incredible. It went to number 1 and stayed there for six weeks. You never know how well it is going to do. I’m always amazed that people want to hear something from my chubby face!’
Lewis also supported The Killers in Belfast and Ed Sheeran for two shows each at Roundhay Park, Leeds, in front of 75,000 fans, and Chantry Park, Ipswich (40,000), at the end of Sheeran’s record-breaking tour.
Such is the talent and quality of the 22-year old’s music, his appeal extends beyond the predictable teenage fans to music lovers of all ages, a true sign of emerging greatness. His live set is made up, primarily, of tracks from his album, a powerful collection of songs often laden with the pain and anguish which must surely come from personal experience. Throughout his set he lays bare his soul with a sincerity straight from the heart, of which Maybe is typical.
‘How come I’m the only one who ever seems to get in my way? Lately, I’ve been f*****g up a good thing any chance I can get,’ he reflects, looking inwardly towards the source of all his angst? Certainly the pain and heartbreak that he portrays in his songs is completely at odds with his humour and YouTube videos. Perhaps he is right. Perhaps the man behind the songs is difficult to live with.
In the midst of all these shows Lewis also had time for lunch with Sir Elton John and, Lewis says, Sir Elton offered him help and support. Always a champion of rising talent, Sir Elton has described Lewis as the next British superstar.
With his summer schedule at home complete, Lewis is now heading to the US for a series of autumnal dates, delighted that Someone You Loved has been a hit Stateside. ‘This is mental,’ he recorded. ‘I think we can all agree this means I’m well on my way to becoming America’s sweetheart and I for one am over the moon!’
The world is now at Lewis Capaldi’s feet. ‘I see happy faces everywhere.’ he added. ‘It makes me smile and I am making so much money!’