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Live Music Review: Lewis Capaldi at Rescue Rooms

13 February 18 words: Matthew Williams
photos: Dan Skurok

We went to Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms to check out a sold-out gig from Lewis Capaldi…

After winning the “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” award in the 2017 Scottish Music Awards, and a sell-out twelve-date December UK headline tour, as well as touring with the likes of Rag’N’Bone Man and Milky Chance in Europe and America, Lewis Capaldi continues his rise to stardom in 2018.

Capaldi learned to play guitar at the age of nine, and began to sing in pubs at the age of twelve, but the now 21-year-old rose to prominence following the release of his first track Bruises in the middle of 2017, which quickly gained 28 million plays on Spotify worldwide, making him the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25 million plays in the platform, which soon earned him a record deal with Virgin and Capitol Records.

Playing at the intimate Rescue Rooms, Capaldi started his set with a progressive intensity, starting mellow and soft but building to a big soulful embrace with the crowd. As he tore through his set, Capaldi jumped around from having a full band backing him, delivering pop infused electric indie rock, with choir-like backing vocals in the chorus, to a more acoustic sound, all the way down to just his voice and a piano behind him.

With an illuminated backdrop, the stage saw four black silhouettes with Capaldi remaining lit, allowing his fragile yet powerful voice to be the centre focus for the crowd. Capaldi played a mixture new and old songs, with all four songs from his debut EP Bloom – an EP which sold out all 150 physical copies in only ninety seconds – being deafeningly sung along by the crowd.

His new songs were a strong continuation of his sound, even teasing the official release of one in the next few weeks. After his recent touring in America, it was obvious Capaldi was happy to be back in the UK, outwardly expressing his love for the crowd’s support as they knew every word to his EP.

You could tell by the expression on his face how shocked he was by the level of support he received, continuing to joke around with the audience throughout, feeding off their energy. After attracting support from the likes of Niall Horan and Ellie Goulding, being longlisted for BBC Music’s “Sound of 2018”, and being booked for summer festivals such as Bonaroo, Firefly and Mountain Jam, 2018 looks to be a promising year for Lewis Capaldi.

Lewis Capaldi performed at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms on Monday 12 February 2018

Lewis Capaldi website

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