Music | Live in Leeds – Nina Nesbitt & Simian Mobile Disco

Nina Nesbitt – The Cockpit  20/10/2013

An atmospheric darkness ascends on The Cockpit as the hordes of eagerly awaiting teenagers anticipate their newest musical icon and it is not long before the countless pairs of squeaky clean converse move as one. Nina Nesbitt opens with ‘Apple Tree’; a frenetic introduction which has her legion of fans hanging on every chord.

At just 19, Nesbitt is certainly talented; demonstrating an impressive balance of fragile but powerful vocals from the outset. The repeated chorus of ‘Way in the World’ combined with the follow your dream narrative clearly resonates with the young faithful.With a voice and stage presence reminiscent of a young Florence Welch, Nesbitt swaps plectrum for drumstick during the hauntingly melodic ‘The People’, a song in which she certainly utilises her own innocence to her benefit. Every single smartphone is held dramatically aloft as Nesbitt photographs the crowd; the hordes of delirious teens sound more excited about the prospect of appearing on Nina’s instagram account than any of the music played.

‘Nose Rings And Shoestrings’ features, at its crux, the moderately catchy refrain ‘live fast and die young’ and unsurprisingly this attitude is gobbled down by the unapologetic ‘yolo’ generation. Although in truth, the audience are not offered anything they haven’t heard before. Similarly, Nesbitt’s lacklustre revival of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Don’t Stop’ veers more towards the middle of the road pop sound that masks her unquestionable rawness and charm.

The highlight was the less polished ‘Brit Summer’ – instantly feel-good; the co-ordinated indie-pop riffs transport the crowd away from a rainy Sunday in Leeds. The energy and frenzied enjoyment from everyone onstage proved to be the pinnacle of the entire sets believability.

Delivering an entertaining performance, it is Nesbitt’s rich, lilting vocals that could differentiate her from other young, talented singer-songwriters of this genre, but it is her youthful accessibility that appears to be exploited by an industry that cares more for profits than nurturing raw talent.

James Godfrey


Simian Mobile Disco – Belgrave Music Hall  25/10/13


Shrouds of smoke, flickering red lights and a crescendoing, whirring synth welcome Simian Mobile Disco to a curiously unfilled Belgrave Music Hall. Unfazed, James Ford and Jas Shaw began with the tech house sound that their latest studio album, Unpatterns, reeked of. The album highlight ‘Cerulean’ got the crowd going, with the simplicity of the track enabling the duo to seamlessly incorporate the distorted, shrieking electro synths, reminiscent of the days of their debut, ‘Attack Decay Sustain Release’. Infectious melodies fuse with perpetually churning bass lines, keeping the audience dancing throughout the show. Standing opposite each other, with the illustrious Ford fluttering between both decks, the duo display an endearing sense of camaraderie that is rare to see in a regular DJ set. The musicians are famed for their analogue production and performances, and understandably so – the show possessed a quality of rawness and spontaneity that made for very enjoyable listening and watching.  The encore seemed slightly unnecessary and halted the fluidity of their performance, however, their final track ‘Interference’ brought the performance to a suitable climax. The speakers were a touch too loud, but perhaps a fuller dance floor might have rectified this issue. Either way, this didn’t prevent Simian Mobile Disco from blasting out their catalogue of dance music that holistically displayed their expansive career in dance music and simultaneously demonstrated their admirable ability to dissolve barriers of genre within electronic music.

Nitin Rishi

photos: Soundcheck & Vevo

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