In a bid to support local record stores, Lewis Capaldi took to social Media back in May to announce he would be playing a string of small venues across the UK. As an entertainer who sells out stadiums when on tour, the idea of him playing such intimate shows seemed almost impossible. However, once the link for shows went live, fans scrambled for tickets, even crashing the website more than once. Needless to say, each show very quickly sold out.
The shows were announced in the same week that Capaldi’s second album — Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent — dropped, and would include a Q&A session and a few acoustic songs. Each ticket also included a copy of the new album on CD!
I had been one of the lucky fans to secure two tickets to the Glasgow show at SWG3 on Sunday the 21st of May. I had never thought I would get tickets, considering how many fans were desperate for them. You could purchase a maximum of 4 tickets per customer, so I selected two tickets, one for myself and one for my teenager (a huge Lewis Capaldi fan) and went to tell her the good news!
I’ve been to SWG3 several times in the past and knew that there would be a line forming early, so after a quick dinner, me and my teen headed to the venue. We arrived well over an hour early and joined the queue, which was already half way along the street.
The atmosphere was excited as fans chatted amongst themselves as they waited. Some fans who were unable to get tickets had shown up anyway with signs, hoping for a glimpse of Capaldi.
When the line finally began to move, our hands were stamped, bags checked, and we were inside! Being an old hat at getting a decent view at gigs, I led my teen to the fifth row from the front of the stage — close, but not too close (were both around the 6ft and there were lots of shorter people!) — and waited for the show to begin.
When Capaldi finally came on stage, it was to raucous applause, and the Q&A section of the evening swiftly began.
Capaldi recounted his early career, stating his first paid gig was at King Tuts in Glasgow as a support act for Luke Friend from the X Factor and giggled that he was paid a whopping £30 for the night.
Next, he touched upon the challenges of writing an album during the pandemic, stating the process was “a pain in the f*cking c*nt,” as everything had to be done online. Having to be creative during such an isolated time really took its toll on Capaldi, as it did with many other artists, and he mentioned that we can see some of this struggle in his Netflix documentary. He mentions that when he agreed to the documentary it was pre-lockdown and his first album was “doing really well” and he “felt like he had a really cool life,” and then lockdown hit and he was living with his parents and felt “very isolated and struggled.” He joked a bit about his mental health at this point, stating that if you’re having any kind of anxiety or identity crisis then a Netflix Documentary really isn’t the way to go. He then went on to say that the documentary helped him realise that everyone struggles and that having poor mental health is a great equaliser — “All of us suffer and none of us are special because of it…knowing everyone else is having a bit of a shit time makes me have of a shit time.”
Capaldi was asked if he thought his album would get to number 1 and he replied “it should be number 1 this Friday as long as no celebrities die and steal my thunder.” As the audiene descended into laughter, he asked if “everyone out there can just keep an eye on, I dunno, f*cking Pitbull and, I dunno, Eminem, make ssure everything’s okay, that’d be great. Just for the next few days and then f*ck them!”
When asked about his favourite track on the new album, Capaldi chose The Pretender, stating that when he gets an idea for a song it usually ends up with at least one aspect of it he’s not happy with. However, with The Pretender, he felt he managed to show how he was feeling at that time exactly as he imagined it.
At this point, Capaldi took some questions from the audience and was asked a variety of questions, some were insightful, some funny, and some strange! One that stands out is when one fan asked him to clarify the lyrics on Pointless. Specifically the line, “I bring her coffee, she brings me inner peace.” Funnily, Capaldi knew exactly what she was asking the second she said the song title and then, for the benefit of anyone not from Scotland in the audience, explained that in Scotland a sandwich can also be called a piece, e.g. piece and jam is a jam sandwich. So, when he sings the line in his Scottish accent, it sounds to fellow Scots like he’s singing that she brings him a sandwich. However, he confirmed the lyrics are in fact “inner peace” and that Ed Sheeran actually wrote that line.
Another fan question which stood out was how involved he gets in the process of making the album, from writing the songs to the art work? Capaldi responded that he’s not much of a “control freak” with his involvement and honestly only does what he needs to do when it comes to the art work etc, dubbing himself as “lazy” with “simple concepts.” Capaldi actually dubbed this the best question of the night and awarded the fan with a signed copy of his album on vinyl at the end of the session.
Twice over the course of the show, gifts were given to Capaldi by fans – a pair of white underpants with messages such as “loves pegging” and “reserved for Niall” written in black sharpie, and a pair of funky prop glasses.
He seemed very pleased with both gifts!
Finally, Capaldi took centre stage in front of his microphone and sang four of his songs, 1 from his first album and 3 from the new album.
- The Pretender (He made a mistake when he hit the chorus and restarted the song rather than continue from the mistake, which shows just how seriously he takes his music despite all his joking around.)
- Leave Me Slowly
- Wish You The Best
- Someone You Love
Lewis then addressed the crowd, stating “genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything…My name is Lewis Capaldi and I’ll see some of you hopefully at my shows in Edinburgh and on tour after that. Goodnight”
All in all, the energy was high and Capaldi was so funny with all of his answers. I seriously believe if he ever wanted to quit music, he could make a killing on the comedy circuit.