Nina Nesbitt first made an impact on the charts back in 2012 when her EP The Apple Tree topped the iTunes singer/songwriter chart, before releasing her debut album Peroxide in 2014. Since then, she hasn’t released much in the way of new music apart from the Modern Love EP and her Life in Colour project which was inspired by stories sent to her by her fans. As part of a string of UK dates, Nina came back to her home country to preview some material from her forthcoming sophomore album.
Playing to a sold-out crowd in the intimate setting of The Art School, she seemed in her element on stage as she talked to the audience and jumped down from the stage at one point to embrace her fans who were right up against the stage barrier. With such a small stage there was minimal space for grand stage production but she seemed at home on the stage anyway and was only accompanied by one other musician. There were some very impressive strobe lights used throughout and the stage was decorated with flowers and vines, in keeping with the theme of the tour poster artwork.
Throughout the set, Nina played some as-yet-unreleased material from her much-anticipated second album which has the working title of NN2. The best of these tracks was the song which closed the set, ‘Somebody Special’. It is a beautifully produced pop track and she took the time to teach the audience the hook so the entire crowd was singing and clapping along by the end of the song. Some of the other new tracks she performed included ‘Colder’ (about “becoming a cold-hearted b*tch after a break up”) and ‘Is It Me You’re Missing’, during which her fantastic vocals really shone through.
She also had a story about the inspiration behind her song-writing for each song she performed. This included her two most recent singles ‘The Moments I’m Missing’ and ‘The Best You Had’, which she excitedly proclaimed was approaching 10,000,000 streams on Spotify.
The setlist was also a great reflection of her musical evolution. Early in the set there was a mash up of early singles ‘The Apple Tree’ and ‘Stay Out’, which had more of a folk vibe than the electro-pop of her new material. She also performed ‘Ontario’ and ‘Chewing Gum’, tracks from a couple of the projects she has done since the release of her debut album. It was these older tracks that had everyone singing along.
After closing the show, there were the obligatory chants for “one more tune”. During the encore there was a great moment with Nina bringing four of her fans onstage to sing along with her as she performed two of her older songs, ‘Boy’ and ‘Mr C’.
It was this kind of interaction, her beautiful voice and great stage presence, that show Nina Nesbitt as a true artist and justify that her comeback is certainly one to get excited about.