Headlining the inimitable Barrowland ballroom for the first time is a rite of passage for many Scottish musicians. Despite still being some months off releasing his debut album, Lewis Capaldi sold out this show so quickly that an online campaign to add a second date followed swiftly.
Lewis Capaldi, Glasgow Barrowland ***
Capaldi was mock cocksure about what it takes to get to this landmark point - hard work, sleepless nights and a handsome face apparently – though his raspy voice and radio-friendly pop tunes might have something to do with it. That voice was in impressive form on confidently delivered opener Grace but given more space to make full-throated impact on the plangent ballad Mercy before the track built to a thunderous crescendo.
Other songs in a still-modest set followed the formula. Capaldi succumbed to X Factor-style pop bombast on Rush, his blah duet with Nina Nesbitt. The blandly breezy Hollywood would also be difficult to pick out of a line-up. Yet, despite his matey banter with the crowd and Ed Sheeran tendency to pop conformity, Capaldi is musically an old soul, sounding beyond his years.
In little over an hour, he had exhausted his current repertoire, wary of littering the set with too much unfamiliarity. Piano ballad Lost On You was received with wild enthusiasm, the cathartic heartache of Tough was heralded by the blast of a confetti cannon and he barely needed to add his overwrought bellow to the massed singalong which accompanied his breakthrough track Bruises. - Fiona Shepherd