Mother of teen with Tourette’s says Capaldi performance was ‘amazingly powerful’
he mother of a teenager with Tourette’s has said that Lewis Capaldi’s Glastonbury performance left her in tears because of the “amazingly powerful” impact it will have on raising awareness for the condition.
On Saturday, Capaldi, who himself has Tourette’s, a neurological condition which causes involuntary muscle movements and sounds known as tics, sang ballads including Someone You Loved to Glastonbury festival-goers while performing on the Pyramid Stage.
During the performance, he stopped singing due to losing his voice earlier in his set and repeated tics, and the crowd responded by belting out the lyrics of his hits to show their support.
For Laura Hummersone, whose 19-year-old son Harry has the condition, the performance had an emotional impact on them.
“Watching Lewis yesterday, in that moment, I think he did more for Tourette’s than any charity or education on the topic in all the times I’ve known about Tourette’s. I was in tears,” the 50-year-old who works in the criminal investigation department of the police force told the PA news agency.
The pair watched Capaldi’s performance on TV together from their home in Farnborough, Hampshire, with Ms Hummersone adding that Harry gradually started smiling from seeking solace in the fact that he and Capaldi both had similar tics.
“[Capaldi] was openly ticing and my son tries to suppress his most of the time when he’s out, which means that when he comes home, he has these huge tic attacks where he can barely do anything”, she said.
“Some of the tics that Lewis was doing were tics that my son does on a regular daily basis, jerking the head.”
Harry was diagnosed with Tourette’s when he was five and a half and Ms Hummersone said that her son’s tics were so bad at one point that she had to quit the job she had at the time for 12 years to look after him.
“Because of his head tics at one point, he couldn’t stand up”, she said.
“It was so violent and also he couldn’t feed himself… and sometimes he would hit his head on the door frame and knock himself out.
“That’s what Tourette’s is like to live with.”
Ms Hummersone said she was particularly struck by how much the crowd supported Capaldi.
“The acceptance, tolerance, understanding, empathy and compassion which the crowd showed yesterday was phenomenal”, she said.
She added: “Harry’s friends have been really sweet about his tics, but during primary school we had parents taking their kids out of school because they didn’t like the ticing.
“I wanted Harry to see the love from that crowd – nobody cared about Lewis’ ticing, they were carrying him through and little things like that show it is nothing to be ashamed of. That’s the big thing.”
She said that Capaldi also did a “brilliant” job of highlighting that Tourette’s does not necessarily mean that you will have swearing as a tic.
“Most of the time, it isn’t about swearing”, she added.
“I think the condition is still so misunderstood and people think you only tic when stressed.
“With Lewis, he was ticing doing something he loved – sometimes it distracts you from what you’re doing, other times it doesn’t.
“So his performance was amazingly powerful.”