Roundhouse, London on March 4, 2018
You’ve got to respect Little Simz’ work ethic. Welcome to Wonderland: The Experience Part II – Simz’ second one-day extravaganza at the Roundhouse – capped off a stupendous year for the London artist, who has been touring almost non-stop following the release of her second album. She’s taken her gutsy raps all the way across North America (touring with Gorillaz), Europe and even the Far East. And fact she’s still independent makes her achievements more impressive still.
Dressed in a striped, two-piece African suit, and her braided hair twirled into a neat bun atop her head, Simz let loose.
Simz’ show had the feeling of a victory lap: a giddy celebration of all she’s accomplished. She vibed with the crowd to the wavy funk of ‘Doorways’. She strutted her way back-and-forth on the stage, urging her band on over an extended version of ‘One in Rotation’. And she invited Mahalia to join her for ‘Proud of Me’.
After a procession of other acts – including VanJess, Ezra Collective, Lioness, Junglepussy, and the mighty Rapsody – energy levels in the venue were flagging. But Simz still managed to get the Sunday night crowd to lift their hands high.
This was another triumphant night for Simz and her crew. The gamut of female talent on display throughout Welcome to Wonderland: The Experience Part II – the finale to this year’s 10-day Roundhouse Rising festival – put many of the larger London festivals to shame. To see Little Simz, an artist who still has so much more to give, continuing to support fellow artists, producers and creatives of all kinds in this way is stupendous. In our view, she’s due for some much needed recognition. But, whether it materialises or not, she’s a force of nature in the eyes of her fans and her fellow artists.
Image: Ollie Millington