Gig Review | LITTLE SIMZ | 07.11.23 | 02 Academy, Glasgow

Little Simz had her Glasgow audience entranced as the impressive No Thank You tour came to the city!

Undoubtedly one of the best and most consistent rappers and performers in the country right now, this Little Simz gig boasted a setlist illustrating the depth and talent in this artist’s discography in 2023, backed up by her immersive live performance and divine on stage persona.

Exploding onto the stage with Silhouette, this six minute tune gave fans time to appreciate and really take in the moment as Little Simz arrived and set the bar high from the get go. The energy was huge and it was evident from the start that the crowd were most definitely on the same page. Little Simz was performing to a crowd of fans she need not win over; this sold out audience was already completely hers to hold and take on this journey with her. And that she did!

The musician’s latest release was the 2022 album No Thank You; an unexpected gift dropped for fans in a move that remains consistent with the rapper’s frame of mind throughout the content of this album. This is most definitely Little Simz at her best; with her cleanest, punchiest and shrewdest rap flaunted. This album gives listeners a feel for what Little Simz is about- just in case anybody had forgotten in the recent years where she has, rightfully so, grown in fame. This record calls out the music business, as Simz stands against the powers around her. She is consistent in recognising her battle against growing popularity and the arising conflict when this looks to compromise the artist or person she is. But, anybody who has known Little Simz long enough knows where this will always lead. It is so clearly important to stay true to who she is, and Little Simz encapsulates that perfectly in her live shows.

The rapper and singer went on to perform songs from the 2021 Mercury award winning album and MOBO award’s album of the year, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. The iconic song from this album, I Love You, I Hate You, hits even better live with the heavy lyrics and sentiment behind the song contrasting with its upbeat grooves to create the perfect mix of emotion. 

This tour is a definite display of Little Simz’ boundless ability as both a recording and live artist. Playing a throwback segment of the show, Simbiatu “Simbi” Abisola Abiola Ajikawo the artist most known as Little Simz performed 2020 hit might bang might not. This song was part of the Drop 6 EP which Simz released during lockdown in May 2020, and is one of my favourite releases. This was always an instant tune and it quickly became a crowd favourite as soon as it could be played live, as was apparent from this Glasgow gig. With lyrics that boast of the artist’s uniqueness- and shouting out Lauryn Hill as the last one to do it like Little Simz is, this song encapsulates this performer and writer. Observant, confident and passionate spring to mind. 

This segment also featured hit songs 101FM and VENOM before moving into Introvert, as the crowd enjoyed a snippet of the powerful catalogue of this artist. These are some of her finest songs to hear live and they go down a treat with the crowd. Latest fan favourite Gorilla from her newest album was played to bring an unseen feeling back to the gig where it was hard to look away from that on stage persona, as Little Simz progressed into her tune Point and Kill.

The candid artist then held a pause before performing her powerful song Selfish. This intimate moment invited the crowd to share in a moment of silence or quiet reflection as those on stage did the same in recognition of the chaos and atrocities happening in our world right now. It was a tender moment as the thousands inside the 02 Academy fell into a mindful silence. Always attune to the sensitivity of her surroundings, the empathy of the person is always present behind the artist with Little Simz.

Angel, the standout opener of the No Thank You album came next in the set. This hit vibrated round the room with its radical lyrics, as the band grooved along and the flow of this tune had everyone in the audience moving with the beat. My new favourite Little Simz moment. During the gig, SIMZ said it best in reference to herself when she reminded the crowd we were “witnessing greatness, and that isn’t arrogance it’s confidence”, which the song Angel encapsulates. 

The encore was of course the phenomenal song Woman, paying homage to all those great women who have come before both in personal lives and the spotlight. This gave the audience an opportunity to feel the music and just dance as we listened to Little Simz’ storytelling at its finest, calling for not just attention but the utmost appreciation for both herself and those other women she raps and sings to us about.  

This was a special gig and a real blessing to see Little Simz again. It really felt like the musician had the intention of going on this tour not just to perform her new album, but to also get a chance to reconnect with fans and get back to her roots and what she does best after an incredible time of it recently. One of the finest of our generation, and she is only destined to get better!