Nina Nesbitt, Paul McEwen & Alexandra Adie – The Tunnels, Aberdeen – 01/11/12
They say the way to the heart is through the stomach, which is clearly a saying that the lovely Nina Nesbitt kept in mind whilst trying to come up with ways in which to gain the audience’s love at her gig at the Tunnels on Thursday night.
One thing that is truly admirable about Nesbitt is the way she works hard to maintain a good relationship with her fans, as well as give aspiring musicians an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a live audience. It’s for reasons such as these that she came up with a competition to give fans a chance to support her on tour, with the latest in the string of support acts chosen being the wonderful Alexandra Adie and Paul McEwan.
Alexandra Adie was due on stage first, wielding only a guitar and a noticeably anxious expression on her face. She introduced herself to the crowd before explaining that her set would be a mixture of original songs and covers, starting off with the “classic” McFly track, ‘It’s All About You’. The crowd seemed to talk loudly over the top of her, which isn’t great considering that her voice was already delicate, but all in all, it was a good cover and nice way to start off her set. She then hit the audience with a couple of her original songs including the beautiful ‘Holding On’, which can be found on her youtube channel CuriousMindOfficial. She played a cover of Jake Bugg’s ‘Two Fingers’ next, which received a great reaction. There was several small mistakes with her guitar playing, but considering that she admitted to only playing the instrument “properly” for a year or so, I don’t think she did bad at all. Adie finished her set with another one of her slower originals, during which a member of the audience whipped out his lighter, causing a small chuckle of laughter to circulate the audience, dispelling all tension in the room and helping to ease the last of Adie’s nerves. In terms of being a singer/songwriter, she’s got definite potential, as long as she keeps practicing playing her guitar and works on keeping her nerves under control. But considering that Alexandra hasn’t had that much experience with playing in front of live audiences, I think she did fantastically well and deserves praise.
The second of the competition winners came onto the stage with what seemed to be a bit more confidence, and several more covers than Adie. Paul McEwen started off his set with Ed Sheeran’s ‘Drunk’, and immediately caught the audience’s attention by doing so. McEwen has a voice that complements his acoustic style perfectly and a knack for choosing songs that the audience will enjoy. He followed up with an emotional cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’ before moving onto Ben Howard’s ‘The Wolves’. This particular song seemed to fit his style perfectly, with his cover sounding pretty similar to the original musician’s version. The crowd happily joined in on the oohing and woahings of the song, much to the delight of McEwen. He ended his set with the incredibly catchy original song, ‘I Know Something’, which everyone seemed to enjoy. His personality constantly shone throughout his set and it seemed near enough impossible to not like him, proven by the huge round of applause he received at the end of his set, similar to those that headliners receive at the end of their shows.
After the supports had finished their sets, it was finally time for Nina Nesbitt to manoeuvre through the crowd and take her place on stage. Within the first minute of doing so, she had already won our love by handing out a couple of containers of food, which a couple of the greedier members of the audience refused to pass along. She began her set with the crowd pleasing ‘Noserings and Shoestrings’. During the chorus, the audience belted out a series of whoa’s which immediately caused Nesbitt’s to smile. The song itself is a perfect example of the upbeat, acoustic songs that Nesbitt has become renowned for. After the last note of the song rang out, she explained to the rowdy Aberdonians in the room that they were part of the biggest audience on her current tour.
Nesbitt asked the audience for silence during emotional ballad ‘Jessica’, and they happily obliged. A perfect silence gripped the room as the headliner bared her soul with inspirational lyrics such as “Sometimes you feel you’re not enough but that’s not true”. The man who had taken out his lighter earlier on in the night had once again lit the flame, swaying his arm gently from side to side as everyone else watched Nesbitt performing intently. The way the silence from the crowd let every beautiful note ring out made for a very intense, and completely mesmerising performance that complemented the nature of the song perfectly. As she strummed out the last chord of the song, everyone went crazy. She seemed thankful for the room’s energy and told us all that we were the “perfect audience”, which is always a lovely thing to hear a musician you admire calling you.
A new song called ‘Not Me’ was next on the setlist, which demonstrated just how powerful her delicate voice could be, as well as allowing her to flaunt how great of a guitarist she is. Nina was the only musician on stage, but the guitar was far from the only instrument being played. Nesbitt played guitar and bass drum for one of her better known songs, ‘Boy’, before switching to piano for another one of her ballads, ‘Hold You’. One thing is for certain, despite being only eighteen years old, she is one hell of a musician. One of the members of the audience were even moved to tears by Nesbitt’s emotional performance of ‘Hold You’. The headliner, being the caring soul she is, stopped performing and attempted to comfort the tearful fan. “Oh, please don’t cry!” Nesbitt begged, before resuming her set, effortlessly displaying her impressive range whilst keeping one concerned eye on the girl that was crying.
For the remainder of her set, Nesbitt reminded us all why she’s considered to be royalty when it comes to fan-interactions. I’ve never seen an artist work so hard to make their fans feel as appreciated as Nina does. She decided that it would be a good idea to treat the stage as a living room and take a couple of fans up on stage to sit on one of her beanbags. She allowed different people to sit on them every time one song ended and another began, in an attempt to let as many people join in on this experience as possible. She finished off her set with three of the more upbeat songs from her latest EP; ‘Only Love’, ‘Seesaw’ and the hugely popular eponymous track, ‘The Apple Tree’. When she left the stage, she was met with one of the loudest rounds of applause that I have heard in a long time, a testament to the amount of love the audience had for her.
Shortly after, she came back for a cheeky encore, choosing to close the show with a cover of The Proclaimer’s ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, getting the audience to use up the last of their energy by asking them to jog and jump on the spot. Their reward for obliging? She offered to meet everyone at the merch stand after the show.
There might be a lot of singer/songwriters out there, but few are as talented and considerate towards their fans as the lovely Nina Nesbitt. If you get the opportunity to catch her live, do yourself a favor and go to her show. Perhaps you’ll get to eat some of the food she brought for the audience to enjoy, perhaps you’ll get to sit in her onstage beanbags or perhaps you’ll just get the opportunity to see her performing live. Either way, I assure you, you won’t regret it.
Words by Penguin Gone mad.
Nina Nesbitt Website