News 14 November 2023

Live Review: Little Simz Showcases Artistry At Its Finest With Memorable Alexandra Palace Performance

14 November 2023

Photo Credit: Karolina Wielocha

Alexandra Palace has always played host to homecomings of its local stars since the turn of the century. Seven years ago, veteran Skepta shelled down the halls of Alexandra and paid homage to his London roots. It was now the turn for one of Islington’s shining stars in Little Simz. A North London native who shared two hours of joy, celebration, honesty, and open arms.

Fans had been eagerly anticipating this moment. Having already achieved superstar status from her NO THANK YOU tour across the pond in North America and Australia, it wasn’t just the celebration of fireworks that intensified a smokey atmosphere ahead of the final lap. Osiris The God and Hak Baker kept the masses entertained. The opening acts ensured an enjoyable patience and allowed many to grab timely refreshments and a bite before the main event kicked off.

20:45 crawled closer and closer. Alexandra Palace was sent into darkness as they awaited their homecoming star who would send the 10,000 capacity into the raptures. Simz had stated she’d be going to work for the two-hour offering, supporters adhered to the message, sporting their icons now customary look of a drapey, oversized white shirt and black-tie attire. The assignment was understood on a memorable night in N22.

The prestigious hall’s blanket of pitch black took a turn to the heavens as the wordsmith entered her stage. The visuals were aesthetically pleasing and absorbing on the eye. Was this a concert or a movie? It was undeniably both. We were invited into the mind and genius of Little Simz. Backdrops of silhouette figures merged as a choir, complimenting the opening song of the night and a standout on the recent album, “Silhouette”. “That’s when you find the strength and pick yourself up”. Sometimes, she may have her introverted moments, but for two hours the elegant lyricist had a magnetic aura which turned the venue into a frenzy. 

The demographic of the night was a mixture of both new and already-accustomed listeners of the artist. Aligning both was a task Simz enjoyed, taking turns between her two most recent bodies of work which would be met with unmeasurable applause with every track ending. Her presence was something to behold. We were looking at a performance befitting of being likened to André 3000 and Kendrick Lamar. Early birds who managed to navigate themselves into the front rows of the audience were treated to intimate moments. An honourable mention to the fan whose memorabilia was signed by the superstar, and which is guaranteed to be a bucket list moment for any concertgoer.

With the world enduring a tough 2023 and more so the recent months, the headlining act asked Alexandra Palace for a moment of silence which was embraced with open arms. This would be a snippet into a more vulnerable side of Little Simz who held every fan in close proximity, sharing unfortunate news of coming into the last show with a bout of illness. Nevertheless, this would not put an end to the celebrations.

Obongjayar, a fellow Nigerian native who has stamped his authority all over 2023 would grace the stage for the energetic anthem “Point And Kill”. There was a carnival feel inside the hallowed halls and it continued with “Gorilla”, a track which embodies the artistry, confidence and perseverance of a woman who has manoeuvred to the top of an elite musical industry. That is where she sits now. Hindsight is a beautiful thing and something Simz recognised and shared towards the end of the glittering evening.

On show was unity. More than ever throughout the fledging, acoustic performance of the emotional “Broken”. Little Simz recognises she was once in a position of having to battle to be someone alike us all. Paying attention to the love she was shown also came as a full-circle moment.

As 22:15 approached, euphoria was still in motion and befitting of what she has achieved throughout her illustrious career. The outro was appreciative, and flowers were given to every female in the room with a powerful rendition of her soothing single “Woman”. Whilst the night had sadly came to an end, this had been a show for the ages. A perfect homecoming performance from Islington’s Little Simz.