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A Magazine for Sheffield
Live / stage review

Self Esteem at the Leadmill

Returning home to a sold-out Leadmill, Self Esteem showcased her pop prowess with a set of entrancing fan favourites.

12 November 2021 at

Self Esteem’s star-studded performance to promote second solo record Prioritise Pleasure was both empowering and emotional. Starting with thunderous opener ‘I’m Fine’, the Leadmill’s dancefloor bounced into life. Joined by her dancers and singers onstage, the mesmerising and experimental title track followed, and it evidenced the togetherness and inclusivity of Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s music. The soaring, celebratory track champions self-acceptance and mirrors Taylor’s unique ability to create a safe space at her shows.

This was especially apparent when singing her breathtaking signature song ‘I Do This All The Time’. With cheers as soon as the intro started, there was an immense sense of pride to see how the confessional, spoken-word track connected with the crowd on such a unified, yet personal level.

Emotional catharsis was not in short supply, especially with ‘Fucking Wizardry’ and ‘Moody’. The former packed a self-assured punch with its swelling and heartfelt uptempo chorus. As Taylor dazzled the room with inspiring and unapologetic storytelling, it was hard not to want to start sorting your life out right there and then.

Thrust into a bittersweet yet joyous daze with the disco sounds of ‘Moody’, fans embraced Taylor’s witty and relatable dark humour when she sang “Sexting you at the mental health talk seems counterproductive”. Taylor laid her insecurities bare, and there was a sense of comfort in her honest disclosure. Talking to the crowd, she addressed how special it was for her to be playing in Sheffield, especially at the Leadmill. From teenage days watching bands on the very stage she was now performing on, the full circle moment could not be more deserved.

Ending the night with sincere pop track ‘The Best’ from 2019 debut Compliments Please, Taylor sang about the strength of becoming a solo singer, especially in an industry known for its ruthlessness. Making her mark as a modern pop star, with her diverse vocal capabilities, choreography and honesty, Self Esteem gave fans an unforgettable and electrifying evening to escape into. Nights like these are the ones you never really want to end.

by Sahar Ghadirian (she/her)
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