Nina Nesbitt at The Arches, 5/12/14

The first time I saw Nina Nesbitt she sang the national anthem at a full Hampden Park in September 2013, before the international against Belgium.

At the time, she did very well against a full house of the Tartan Army hell bent on singing at a different tempo.


Fast forward 14-months and this is now the fourth time I have had the pleasure in photographing her live show; this time the venue is The Arches with its unique form and fantastic acoustics.

Nesbitt comes on stage to a huge welcome form the sold out crowd, the majority of who are in her own age group and gender; this is going to be a stripped back show with only her on the guitar and piano, accompanied for half of the set by her guitarist Tommy Ashby.

This is a different sound to the very rounded, perhaps a touch plastic sound of her debut album, Peroxide; for this show she has moved away from that radio ready, highly dynamic compressed sound that we are used to from a certain TV show.

The performance starts off with ‘Apple Tree’ and everyone in The Arches seams to know the lyrics with everyone soon singing-along.

Nesbitt has rapport with her audience that many a more established artists would be proud of; this is evident when she invites three members of the audience up to sing ‘Way in The World’.

She wastes no time on coming down from the stage to pick up her three guests, who collectively suffer stage fright and do not contribute as much to the backing vocals as they were meant to do.

Next up is a new song called ‘Avalon’, Nesbitt requests for the song not to be videoed and she embarks into a gentle melody about meeting someone you really like and taking them to a special place; as mushy as the song may sound her performance is very believable.

Nesbitt announces the next song as her favourite on the album, the song was also the last one written only a week before the album was finished; ‘The Hardest Part’ is about a romantic break up that lingers, again this rendition is very convincing.

She closes the show with probably her best-known song ‘Stay Out’, which made it in to the UK top 20, to date her highest chart position, and the audience sing-along loudly as they have done the majority of the night.

Not only has Nesbitt a beautiful voice, she can write some pretty dam good lyrics, from moving ballads like ‘The Hardest Part’ to the really catchy songs like ‘Apple Tree’.

There is no doubt that Nesbitt has an abundance of talent and her future should be very bright indeed, one can only hope that she is allowed to develop her discernible song writing talent to its full potential.

Words/Photos: Tim J. Gray


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