- 03 Sep 22
London rapper Little Simz brings the heat in the Rankins Wood tent on day one of Electric Picnic 2022, seamlessly weaving cutting-edge sounds with old school soul.
Little Simz makes her presence known, overtaking the Electric Picnic Rankins Wood stage with her live band to a warm and welcoming audience. She carries herself with an easeful confidence, wasting no time in immediately getting to the music.
Zipped up in a pointed hoodie, the North London rapper commands the crowd with her fluid rapping, bringing everyone beneath the tent together with set opener ‘Introvert.’ The rich, grime layers are brought to life in vivid aural colour by her live band, while Sims flows effortlessly — and breathlessly — through wittily crafted rhymes.
Best known for her assailing rap style, Simz showcases herself as an artist of multitude. On ‘Two Worlds Apart,’ old school meets modern soul with her sublime vocals, channelling the sort of enigmatic nonchalance reminiscent of Lauryn Hill.
Her songs seem to flow from one to the next without hesitation, even when jumping from her wide-ranging new sound to the discography of her early years. When she erupts into the chorus of ‘I Love You For All Seasons,’ the crowd loudly joins, echoing the lyrics back to her.
“I always have so much fun when I come to perform in Ireland,” says the Londoner, adding, “lots of Irish blood in my family, you know.”
Over sticky drums, she raps with an addicting, spitting force on ‘Offence,’ reminding us all of her not-forgotten 2019 album, GREY Area.
“Allow me to pick up where I left off,” she raps pointedly, before the audience finishes the song for her. Shuffling across the stage with finesse, her keyboardist occupies the spotlight with a sparkling synth solo.
Her melodic vocals come out on ‘Protect My Energy,’ her voice throaty and raw. But it’s the moment Simz jumps on keys during the bridge, intensifying the rhythmic current, that the room soars with applause.
“What’s the vibes today? Let me check the temperature,” she jokes, teaming up with her MC for the bouncy beat ‘Point and Kill.’ She shines with a magnetic ebullience, affecting the audience into a steady state of radiant joy.
Simz tops off the night with the spitfire crowd pleaser ‘Venom,’ reminding us all of her vocal prowess one last, lasting time.
Stay tuned for more live reports, photos and all things Electric Picnic, live from Stradbally.