Live. Nina Nesbitt

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Live. Nina Nesbitt.
Islington Assembly Hall, Tuesday 12th March 2013.

There’s a brutal contradiction with Nina Nesbitt. A real modern-day Jekyll and Hyde nightmare. Ambitious but never overbearing, the half-Scottish poet delivers dark yet hopeful tales of love, loss and rebellion through indie-tinged pop sparkle. Tying everything together and allowing a unique standing are flurries of wide-eyed radiance, youthful intuition and fiery bite. With another EP around the corner and an album on the horizon Nina Nesbitt is on the verge of something special. At Islington Assembly Hall, she proved just how special.

Taking bold leaps with the show, Nina Nesbitt proved that she’s never going to be an artist that wallows in complacency. Recruiting a live band to augment her acoustic flutter changes the nature of the beast entirely. The three additional musicians provide brute to the delicacy of her acoustic twang, lifting and shouldering the bow of Nina’s ship with subtle respect and rolling finesse. Set opener Boy is transformed into a pacey blues-infused explosion of excitement that sets the tone for the evening. The Outcome and Not Me follow suit with stuttering bursts of vibrant energy that flourish in the grandeur of the occasion.

Apple Tree appears midway through the evening to a fevered response. Nina’s deliberate diction offers a stark contrast to the juddering backing vocals of both band and audience. Leaving no room for reflection, the twisting, double-entendre littered ebb of Eighteen Candles flaunts brilliance as the performance steps up one final gear to achieve rare excellence.

The additional musicians don’t just stay in the shadows. They’ve infiltrated every aspect of the show, giving Nina Nesbitt a huge sound to support the breathy wonder of that stunning voice. There’s an underpin of Bluesy-Rock that flows throughout the set, surprising every-time it rears its delightful head; whether during the extended instrumental bridge of Tough Luck or The Beach Boys ballroom sting of X. The atmospheric thundering of The People builds into jousting breakdowns as haunting vocals flood the space proving that Nina is so much more than an acoustic singer-songwriter.

Take away all that excess though, and we’re still left with a remarkable talent. Nina Nesbitt has grown into a confident showman, the dwindling whispers of her awkward stage presence now only endear as she commands the room with stern respect. A solo rendition of Statues is met with stunned silence, as the echoing beauty of her soaring voice is gifted space to strut.

It’s a brave move from a rising starlet, playing her largest headline show, to abandon a large chunk of her back-catalogue in favour of new, untested tracks. Only three songs from the thirteen that are aired have been released, but every single one bounds with the energetic promise of a hit. A strong lyrical leaning to heartbreak songs doesn’t take away any of Nina’s feisty free-spirited bite, as the dainty flight of her earlier material is replaced by a furious drive. The harshest of the contradictions is also the most wonderful. How an artist can sing about such gut-wrenching heartbreak while allowing them to fall hopelessly in love with her craft seems unfair. Unfair, yet glorious.

Stay Out EP is out on April 8th 2013. Preorder?
Want more Nesbian action? Click!

Setlist.

1. Boy
2. The Outcome
3. Not Me
4. Apple Tree
5. 18 Candles
6. Statues
7. Tough Luck
8. Just Before Goodbye
9. x
10. The People
11. We’ll Be Back For More

—-
12. Glue
13. Stay Out

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~ by justdip on 13/03/2013.

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