WORDS AND IMAGES BILLY SEAGRAVE
Lewis Capaldi opens the first night of Sounds of the City at Castlefield bowl, Billy Seagrave joined the masses, for what was going to be a night of sing a longs and hilarious stories of our host’s lockdown adventures.
There was drizzle in the air over Manchester. However, that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as Sounds of the City kicked off its first night at Castlefield Bowl with Lewis Capaldi. It’s the second time Scotland’s favourite son has serenaded a Manchester audience with his sad songs this month, after a fabulous set at Parklife.
Kicking things off was singer songwriter Emie Nathan, who released her debut EP in November.
The young female artist has less than 10 songs in her Spotify catalogue, never less Emie clearly made a great impression on Capaldi when he attended one of her gigs in January offering her a support slot on a few shows for this upcoming tour. Much of her music written during the Covid lockdowns, the newcomer’s lyrics are a real journey of emotions with an hook of the ear worm making you instantly connect with the music. The London-based artist is a real find and completely set up and set the tone for the evening’s proceedings.
Next artist to take the stage was A.P. Saxe Canadian singer songwriter, probably best known for his work with Julia Michaels on ‘If the World Was Ending’. His set saw a series of love and heartbreak songs such as “A Few Things” and “Maybe Don’t”, a track on which he collaborated with Maisie Peters, who has just supported on Ed Sheeran’s latest tour – including his four nights in Manchester. He played a number of songs from his debut album, released last year, entitled “Dangerous Levels of Introspection”, which he joked was a ‘little pretentious’, though I’m sure Capaldi would agree that ‘Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent’ is on par. JP Saxe – who is set to headline Academy 3 on July 23 – not only has the most beautiful, delicate vocals, but also switches between his keyboard and guitar, proving he’s not just a singer-songwriter who appears to have had his heart shattered more than once, but an extremely talented musician.
Our host this evening is a master of getting himself on stage, If one man knows how to make an entrance on stage, it’s Lewis Capaldi, opening with an audio compilation of radio snippets and created sound that nodded to the likes of Harry Styles with a ‘Lewis, we want to say goodnight to you’ before erupting into a version of Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), or should I saw Lewis is back, alright!
Opening with “Grace”, highly emotional and instantly arms waving chorus roaring response from the crowd, who seem to have forgotten its raining, for now. “We were supposed to have new music to play at these shows by now but I’m a lazy cunt,” he said. “So we’re just going to play you all the old shit.” We all know his love laden lyrics and the rollercoaster of live as portrayed through Lewis, but you get so much more than that, without a doubt a career is a stand-up comedian would be easily with in his remit, the constant banter with the crowd the antidotes to his life, deliver a fabulous side of the artist that is a consummate performer.
As ever the songs keep coming and are lapped up by the adoring crowd, a rather splendid cover version of “A thousand miles “by Vanessa Carlton, once again set to show Lewis’s vocal prowess.
Finishing the set with Leaving “My Love Behind”, “Fade” and “Before You Go”, telling the audience it was his ‘last song’ with a rather big comical and sarcastic wink, thanking fans for ‘standing in the pissing rain and listening to me sing sad songs’.
Well how could you not come back out and provide the rainbow to the performance in finishing with the Grammy nominated “somebody to love”, the evening has been a joy, with a performer that tugs at the heart strings and really reaches into those areas of the heart that have all those feelings of love and rejection, coming to the fore.
3/ Don’t get me wrong
6/ Hold me while you wait
10/ A thousand miles (Vanessa Carlton) cover
12/ Leaving my love behind
13/ Before you go
14/ Somebody to love
FOLLOW LEWIS CAPALDI
FOLLOW J P SAXE
FOLLOW EMIE NATHAN