IN THE CROWD: NIX NORTHWEST @ BELGRAVE MUSIC HALL - 10.11.23
On the Leeds stop of his tour, Nix Northwest shines as a wonderfully talented performer at Belgrave Music Hall
Nix Northwest is an artist originally hailing from London, who’s musical journey has been flourishing since he began releasing in 2019. His style of neo-soul infused rap has won him a dedicated fanbase, enamoured by his carefully curated discography. From an early age he became inspired by his mum’s impeccable taste in music, and his dad who was a guitarist. Leeds plays an important role in Nix’s development, as some of his most formative years came when attending Leeds College of Music. It was here he met frequent collaborators such as Lausse The Cat and B-ahwe, the latter accompanying him on this tour. His skills and artistry were pushed to new heights in Leeds, and in returning, there was a something of a homecoming feeling in the room. The city Nix described as his ‘home-from-home’ turned up in full, with the sold-out Belgrave Music Hall hosting a wonderful evening.
Prior to Nix taking the stage there were performances from Bricknasty and Zino Vinci, both putting on great sets. Zino delivered a combination of his biggest hits, such as ‘CEO of the friendship group’, as well as tracks from his outstanding new project ‘Filthy & Disgusting’. ‘First Time’ was undoubtedly a highlight. The beat switch in that song is excellent when listening on Spotify, however, it was room-shaking in a live setting. His performance of an unreleased grime track of his called ‘Romford Road’, highlighted the artists’ incredible ability on the mic. Zino Vinci made clear in this performance that he is one to watch.
Following the supports, it was time for the main event. Nix took to the stage alongside his band, and supporting vocalist, B-ahwe. He hit the ground running with ‘One Way Ticket’, one of my personal favourites from his recent album ‘Xin’s Disappearance’. Another one from this project followed, the vibrant ‘Problems’ which had everyone getting involved on the chorus. The set contained a mix between tracks from this album and some of his older favourites. Speaking of, ‘Life’s a Bitch’ from his highly coveted first project, with the same name plus ‘I Just Need an Early Night’, arrived next. The crowd we’re in full swing for this one. Indicative of a very capable live performer, Nix won over the room right from the first track.
Also clear from early on, was how wonderful it was having B-ahwe sharing the stage. A delightful artist in her own right, B-ahwe added beautiful vocal layers to the songs being performed. Nix expressed how much he appreciated having her with him on the tour, and I think this sentiment was shared by the crowd, as the pair complemented each other exquisitely.
Credit must also be given to the members of Nix’s band. We learned that everyone on stage had studied music in Leeds alongside Nix. This made a lot of sense, given how in-sync their performance was. On keys was Madeline Jones, who delivered a fantastic solo that had everyone in the crowd highly impressed. The same can be said for guitarist Seb KW, garnering an equally uproarious reaction for his solo during the band’s cover of ‘Beautiful’ by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams.
Nix went on to deliver ‘When It Rains’ and ‘Paradise Pending’, both from his debut project. He exhibited an excellent control over his breathing and delivery, and when combined with the clever lyricism the outcome was spectacular. Further evidence of Nix deserving praise for his skills swiftly followed suit, as he sat down at the keyboard and laid down a mesmeric solo. His capacity to balance being the captivating frontman, and intricate instrumentalist was remarkably impressive.
As the evening continued, we had upbeat energy on bangers such as ‘You Ain’t Got a Chance Boy’. Then a lovely sing-along for the sombre and reflective ‘Satan Doesn’t Swim’. The crowd collectively belting out ‘I think I’m in love’ was indicative of Nix’s capacity to craft a relatable lyric. This transitioned wonderfully into ‘See U In The Morning’, an all-time Nix classic. The introspective lyricism on this one proved a wonderful final track of the set.
However, mere seconds after the stage was emptied, fans were screaming the chant of one more song. I don’t think there was much choice for the performers, one more was a necessity. Thankfully so, because they returned with ‘Sun In My Eyes’, an upbeat number from his new album, and I believe one of his very best songs. The grooves and energy on ‘Sun In My Eyes’ was unbeatable. The room was buzzing, and the set finished to collective joy at what had been witnessed.
Nix Northwest’s Leeds show provided a lot. It showed Nix to be an exceptionally talented performer and multi-instrumentalist, who is in need of significantly more praise for what he is doing. It also showed that he has the right people around him. Having B-ahwe’s talents there was a delight, and each member of the band was a credit to themselves. Finally, the key take-away from the evening was this; if you are able to see Nix Northwest live, on this tour or his next, take that opportunity, as you will have a simply brilliant time.
Nix Northwest – Vocals & Keys
B-ahwe - Vocals Greg Burns – Drums Seb KW - Guitar
Tricky - Bass
Madeline Jones – Keys
Support acts: Zino Vinci & Bricknasty Venue: Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
Thank you to Emerald East for inviting Oculate.
Words by: Matt Sharp
Photos by: Lizzie Lenthall