Every year, a new act plays Glastonbury for the first time and totally owns it. As in, they don’t just turn up and play, they pop up on numerous stages, are spotted at 4am watching the sunrise with moon-eyed revellers and they become at one with the leylines.
This year, that artist is the wildly popular Lewis Capaldi, who popped up on stage with Bastille, played a secret set at BBC Introducing (where he told the crowd Glastonbury was making his nipples erect with excitement) and – just now – has been walking around the Interstage area wearing a big, homemade cardboard sign saying, simply, ‘HOLD ME’.
A big part of Capaldi’s appeal is his everyman quality – and the fact that is, of course, Max Bants. He also loves to play the downtrodden everyman, but he doesn’t need a giant sign to advertise his availability for hugs and selfies – he’s followed, everywhere he goes, by his adoring public.
Capaldi plays Glastonbury today at 4pm on The Other Stage, in what promises to be a career-making show for the 22-year-old Glaswegian. Fellow Scot Gerry Cinnamon, another singer-songwriter whose route to fame has happened without support from the usual media channels, plays an hour before Capaldi on the John Peel stage; and with The Proclaimers opening the Pyramid this morning, you might call it Caledonian takeover. Really, the three acts have something in common – people power, which is why The Proclaimers managed to get a huge crowd to drag their arses out of bed for the chance to sing along in the sun. They mightn’t have walked 500 miles, but they did shlep out of their tents and combat hangovers to be there.
Capaldi’s set, which will be broadcast on BBC, looks certain to cement the singer-songwriter’s stratospheric rise to fame. Don’t be surprised if he’s headlining soon.