An honest, authentic voice of her generation, Nieve Ella is a popular name on the lips of thousands. Doing more than proving her artistic worth on the first of two nights at South East London’s Omeara venue, the singer and guitarist is engaging, showing a nuanced understanding of how to lift a crowd.
Initially rising to fame on TikTok, the Shropshire-bred indie pop star drove some of the same traffic straight into the live environment with precision. As her in demand gig performances attracted hungry crowds, a winning formular was soon established, tightly mirroring the online relationship, only this is in person, close up.
Tonight’s gig is a fitting way to delve into the resonant storytelling, uncover vulnerability, bravery and personal accessibility. With no dipping at any point, energy levels of sheer intensity persist during the running order. The fans respond, they connect through big, expansive singalongs at full lung capacity with notable vocal force. The chanting does not stop until her set finishes.
With a ten track setlist plus an encore of three songs, there is plenty of material to get immersed with, the contrary is not even an option, and probably an impossibility. As ‘Big House’ opens the set, the jangly, super infectious ’19 In A Week’ follows soon after, before the raw, emotional conveyance of Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris’ from 1998 is heard.
On the topic of covers ‘You & Me Song’ is a fun fuelled snapshot, inspired by the idea of forgetting about everything else, the 1994 Wannadies classic is an endearing, happy go lucky instant, which makes you crave more. Vocally, there is a complexity, as the interplay between intimacy and big belters is carefully managed.
The singer is here to deliver the blistering goods. The alt-rock, anthemic DNA of ‘Cark Park’ and ‘His Sofa’ are exactly what the audience were hoping for, and her treatment does more than live up to expectation. Adolescence can only be easier to overcome, and live through, in her company.
Short and sweet is one way to describe it, but it’s too simplistic and only accounts for half of the story. The strong bond between the songwriter and the fans is undeniable, as is the community nurtured in the process. The sense of belonging, of being part of a much broader community, is a critical part of Nieve Ella’s story, a story that just continues to unfold.
Words: Susan Hansen
Photography: Max Rowley