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Tonight was all about the girls.

Katie Nicoll pulled off a sold out headline show in Roots in Dundee on Friday 31st of May with three wonderful female support acts. The night itself was about more than just music (for me personally anyway) It was a powerful showcase of talented female sing-songwriters in Scotland, right now! According to the Misogyny in music report women represent less than a third of the chart artists in music whilst only 14% of those are songwriters * (Women and equalities committee). The night was an opportunity to inspire others to pick up an instrument or write some songs in a very under represented industry.

Katie and her team transformed Roots with glitter curtains, fairy lights, flowers and on arrival everyone was given a glow stick. To see the venue look so lovely, welcoming and cosy added to the vibe of the night as lots of excited fans pilled in, ready to see Katie perform at her first headline show.


Opening her set with a beautiful cover of Damien Rice’s Delicate Sin-é quickly had the attention of the venue with her emotionally rich voice she fills the room with her creatively deep songs announcing to the room “I’m here to make you sad, then everyone else will make you realise it isn’t that bad”. She may have seen it as bringing the dark element to start the night however, I very much believe it set the bar high for the night. Sin-é‘s song writing is mature beyond her years, having such a lovely way with words writing some stunning songs. My favourite of the evening being devour – “I get scared you might love me more” is relatable in a relationship when the anxiety hits about possiby not feeling the same as the person you are with.

Neave Marr

Singer-songwriter Neave Marr showcased her original material joined by Taylor Smith on guitar for a more stripped back set from the released music you will find on spotify. Neave is a pop inspired artist whose songs will resonate with many people of the same age, with the messages behind her music; like speaking to your ex online into the early hours of the morning when you know you shouldn’t. Marr was able to judge the crowd right and covered Harry Styles As it was which was an immense crowd pleaser with everyone dancing and singing along. A new single is looming, it sounds great! However I won’t spoil it for Neave, keep an eye out for new music.


A sister/brother duo from the Scottish Borders, she was whitty with the crowd and got a great reception in Dundee. Opening with Wanna get high? she shares a potential day in the life of adolescence in the Scottish borders with nothing else to do but go for a drive with your mates and smoke. Lorna made us all aware that she was passionate about lesbians and greek mythology which got a few cheers amongst the crowd as she played the opening riff to new song Calypso which showed off her vocal range beautifully with a more hypnotic style (I look forward to this getting released) as it really seemed to hit the right note with the crowd. Her brother plays cajon (box drum) and she jokingly told us Hey he doesn’t do much but when he does it’s good which got a real laugh from everyone. The set was really fun and fresh, ending on the latest single fraud which is super catchy it even had me singing along by the end.

Katie Nicoll

Katie Nicoll has been playing gigs up and down Scotland recently, momentum seems to really be building as her latest single Jodi Said has been selected by BBC Scotland as a track of the week and has been featured on BBC Introducing also. A pop artist with a slight indie twist, known for writing catchy choruses that just hit well. With a new band behind her tonight it was fantastic to see her front and centre exuding confidence playing her original music at her first ever headline gig.

The show was a sell out! Understandably. To see a turn out from friends, family, old school teachers and other musicians in force for support showed how well respected Katie really is. Starting off strong with be mine you could see the shaking of glow stick wrist bands in the air as people sang back to Katie and her band.

This is insane by the way, there are 100 of you in here. Thank you! Throughout the set Katie echoed thanks to all the other talented artists who performed, to her band, the audio engineer and the audience, clearly humbled by all the support shown throughout the night. Katie kept the energy up for the evening as she goes into I just miss my dog, a moment of reflection for all that dark days aren’t forever and things really can get better.

Katie kindly asks her band to leave as she did some acoustic numbers to switch up the dynamic of the set with a mash up of Caledonia and Flower of Scotland and singing her first ever song she finished ‘laugh a bit longer’ which she dedicated to her teachers in the audience as she spoke fondly of realising that maybe she could pursue music. One last cover mash up made the crowd erupt as the chorus of whats love got to do with it hits but wait for it… into Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag. A clever and creative mash up that got a well deserved cheer.

Eagle eyed music fans will have spotted Joshua Grantt in the crowd supporting Katie which was incredible to see, what an absolute perfect opportunity for everyone to hear their collaboration track Tidal wave live. A pop punk banger that was released in January from this talented pair.

It was really great to see Mark Tindal of Open Eyes Productions who came down to support all the talented artists who he’s worked with that were playing tonight.

Katie is a breath of fresh air, a ray of sunshine to watch live. She never stops smiling and her performances are always heartfelt and fun. Her and her new band worked really well together and I think this is the best live set I’ve seen from her. Having a band on stage with her meant that she could put the guitar down, grab the mic and have a bit of fun with her performance which switches up her show as an artist.

The evening was empowering, seeing all the talented ladies up on stage doing their thing (as three very different artists) was pretty special. Hearing them all call each other out so pubicly on stage to say how wonderful everyones performances were, it was something we don’t hear enough of. It was more than musicians supporting musicians, it was women supporting other talented women.

A fantastic night of live music and no doubt Katie will be selling out bigger venues before we know it.

*(2024) Misogyny in music – women and equalities committee.

About Bonnie Ross 53 Articles
I'm a musician who's always had a passion for discovering new music. I now write about it...