Little Simz at Roundhouse Rising 2018 review – a giddy celebration of her standout year

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.


See more high­lights from Wel­come to Won­der­land: The Expe­ri­ence Part II on our Face­book and Insta­gram page.

Image: Ollie Millington