At just 25 Little Simz has packed a hell of a lot into her career already, Far Out catch her on a bouncing Saturday night in Manchester as part of the tour for her third album, Grey Area.
This latest effort has been undoubtedly her best received and she may have even reached many ears for the first time a few weeks back, with her performance and nomination at the 2019 Mercury Awards.
But beyond these glitzy accolades, Simz is an artist with a real message at the core of everything she does.
The show at Manchester’s Academy 3 – a small venue for an artist who seems to have rocketed recently – starts with ‘Boss’ – a track that thrusts gender stereotypes into the open immediately. She enters the stage hammering out the opening verse through a megaphone – giving the opener something of a ‘public service announcement’ feel about it.
What follows is a gloriously vibrant fusion of hip-hop, grime, funk, soul, and even a spot of psychedelic rock, as Simz plays out one track with a dexterous guitar solo that has the sold-out crowd rapturously applauding her versatility.
At the other end of the scale, the temperature is sent into overdrive during ‘Venom’. It’s another track that explores life as a female in the rap game – and its furious opening bars end with an assessment of “oi, oi, oi” by Simz. The audience is treated to a reload and pandaemonium ensues at the first drop.
We mentioned that we find Simz at the height of her popularity, so it seems like a perfect night for an encore.
It’s quite a conspicuous one as the rapper and her band return to finish off with ‘Offence’. There was no way they were leaving that one out. But obviously this gives ample opportunity for one last blow out. This will surely be the last time this crowd catch Little Simz in such intimate surroundings.