Back when I lived in the UK, I went to a lot of concerts. Between knowing the assistant to the director of SJM Concerts and taking photographs for NME-rival magazine Artrocker, I would see myself guest listed for several concerts each week. Most of these were in Manchester, but quite often in Leeds, sometimes in Liverpool or other cities in the North West of England.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to see some of my most favourite bands play live (Blur, David Bowie, Los Campesinos!, Green Day, Tellison), often for free. And also to watch others that weren’t quite my go-to when I pick up a record, but have been great shows (The Darkness, Paramore, Limp Bizkit, Kanye West, Harry Styles). Shows that were just a bit odd, therefore brilliant maybe? (Daniel Johnston, Lord Mongo, Salty Lips) Or to be able to discover new, smaller artists before they get popular or disappear altogether (Jamie T, Tom Vek, Bromheads Jacket, The Old Romantic Killer Band, Cage the Elephant, Kings of Leon).
There are too many to mention or properly categorise.
Now that I’m old(er), live in Oslo and have a family to look after, I don’t really go out to as many live shows. This entire year, I only made it to 3 concerts and 1 festival; The Wombats, Harry Styles, Day 2 of Øyafestivalen and Little Simz.
I guess that’s okay, but I think in 2023 my intention will be to go to more.
Seeing artists play live can be a great experience. Some concerts are great to go to on your own, others with friends. My music taste is quite broad and it’s sometimes hard to find someone to go and so I don’t mind going on my own. That’s what I did for the Little Simz show.
I’d been in Manchester the entire week and only flown back earlier in the day, but made my way out into a cold and snowy Oslo, queuing alone outside the venue, Rockefeller Music Hall.
The spare ticket? I gave it away for free to two people looking to buy their way into the sold out show. My friend Ben described this as “the most Coxy thing I have heard this week”.
Since I wasn’t feeling super fresh and was quite tired after a 6am start to catch a plane – evident by the fact I got into the venue, bought a beer, but walked away from the bar before they served it – I decided to go up onto the balcony at the venue, where things are a little more sensible and reserved.
This meant that I was prone to grabbing my phone and taking photos + video of what was going on. I don’t usually do this but often see others doing it. I’ve become one of them. But now you get to witness some of what I witnessed:
Little Simz, in my opinion, put on a great show. I like her music anyway but wasn’t sure what to expect from a live performance. And she delivered.
From the music, to crowd banter and audience participation, the slow songs, the hard hitters, to bringing her cousin up on stage to give him credit for his part in all this, to the heartfelt thank yous to the tour crew – who were also handing out water to the crowd to keep the fans hydrated.
There was no faulting it.
Not too long before the show rolled around in the calendar, Little Simz dropped a new album called NO THANK YOU. On stage, she acknowledged that the tour was not for the new album, so there would be no new songs played tonight.
That said, after the official set had ended, the lights stayed down and NO THANK YOU started playing. Little Simz and her co-pilot for the evening came back out on stage and just started dancing as people were leaving the venue – with the remaining crowd just vibing for the next 10 minutes.
It was a proper party atmosphere. Nice.
Little Simz · 18.12.2022
Rockefeller Music Hall (Oslo, Norway)
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