Gig review: Nina Nesbitt, Glasgow

Nina Nesbitt delivered fragrant pop tunes. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Nina Nesbitt delivered fragrant pop tunes. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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At a time when idiosyncracy seems to have disappeared from the mainstream, what has a young starlet to do to capture attention?

Nina Nesbitt - ABC, Glasgow

* * *

Edinburgh teenager Nina Nesbitt has wisely shunned the Miley Cyrus sex shocker strategy in favour of the safer route of building a Youtube fanbase, followed by the John Lewis advert soundtrack gambit and a bit of light modelling on the side in order to get her name and music out there.

Judging by her audience at this sold-out show – which she sweetly regards as a personal landmark – Nesbitt has succeeded in connecting with her peers. Groups of young women, called Nesbians, have imitated the girly grunge look of a performer who is grounded enough to identify with, while being cool, pretty and talented enough to look up to.

In tastefully accented, largely unaffected through occasionally strained tones, she delivered fragrant pop tunes about drudge jobs and aspirations (Way In The World), winsome acoustic odes to skater boys (Noserings And Shoestrings), solo piano ballads about the fag end of a relationship (Just Before Goodbye), peppy paeans to festivals (Brit Summer) and tributes to friendship (We’ll Be Back For More). In a lovely touch, she invited her own friends onstage to add ad hoc backing vocals to this last number.

But her straight cover of Fleetwood Mac’s superlative Don’t Stop only highlighted that she is still a work-in-progress. Her hit Stay Out makes some pertinent observations but she relied instead on husky crowd-pleasing, flesh-pressing renditions of Flower Of Scotland, which she sang to a markedly different crowd at the Scotland v Belgium World Cup qualifier, and The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles for her big finish.