Inspired by the likes of Madonna and Lady Gaga, but hailing from Rotherham, Self Esteem played a sold out gig at the 02 Academy Sheffield on 16th March and I was there to capture some moments…
Formerly one half of Slow Club, Rebecca Taylor re-launched herself as Self Esteem in 2017. She won the BBC Music Introducing Award in 2021 and was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2022. This year her tour is well underway, and so in demand that they added 10 extra dates as it had sold out before it even started.
For the first 3 songs we weren’t allowed into the pit at the front, so I headed up to the balcony and found that it was a pretty good vantage point. The performance from Taylor and all of her singers and dancers was dramatically choreographed and the sound and atmosphere were great.
Unsurprisingly given that Taylor was the drummer as well as sharing guitar and vocal duties in Slow Club, her music now has very prominent drum rhythms but has definitely shifted from indie to pop – albeit with some honest Northern style lyrics! You can tell that she wants to have more lighthearted fun with the music and express herself however she cares to.
After the 4th song I headed down to the pit to soak up a more intimate connection, but unfortunately at this point they changed to red costumes in red light, so whilst it looked great with the naked eye, getting a good shot was really difficult.
It’s great to see someone proudly embracing their northern roots in a fun rather than dour way. The daughter of a steel worker who ends up a pop diva that gets to make a stir at Glastonbury with her now infamous Meadowhall domed take on Madonna’s conical bra and corset look might not be what the world thought it needed, but it’s certainly making it more interesting!