“I’m sorry I’m not Paolo Nutini, but I’ll do my best” he told the first of two capacity crowds at the Hydro, pre-empting disappointment with a wry “f*** you”. Capaldi has spoken before of imposter syndrome. Only three years ago he was playing the tiny basement of the 13th Note venue. For anyone else struggling with the massive leap to the country’s largest venues, he has introduced a gig buddy scheme, a lovely and practical human touch. (The initiative offers support before, during and after his concerts for those suffering from anxiety disorders, and allows gig-goers, especially those attending his shows on their own, to meet others at designated points.)
Capaldi, however, is the only one who can own his phenomenal success and 13,000 fans singing every word of opening song Grace. Don’t Get Me Wrong packed a bit more soulful swagger but exposed the limits of his lower range.
According to Capaldi’s own assessment of his gig trajectory, the following Maybe was one of his upbeat numbers and, emotionally speaking, it was all downhill from there. This was to prove a self-fulfilling prophecy as he rolled out the strained angst, driving the point home with an epic opening flourish on Fade.
Yet his lyrical self-flagellation connected with the audience – not least when he popped up on a small hydraulic platform then battled his way back through the crowd on an extended Someone You Loved.