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Live / stage review

Radiating energy: Nubiyan Twist at The Leadmill

"Sheffield, you are bringing a vibe and we are going to match you" promises singer Aziza Jaye, as the nine-piece band deliver a joyous hometown gig.

7 June 2024 at
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Hamish Yewdall.

It’s 9:15pm, and Nubiyan Twist walk onto the stage and ask the crowd to raise a glass: “Sheffield, this is my hometown gig!” announces singer Aziza Jaye. The crowd respond with a cheer that says “We know! We’re ready for it.” The next 100 minutes are pure joy.

Since 2011, Nubiyan Twist have been gaining a reputation for exploring different genres with a big band sound. Their fourth album, Find Your Flame, came out last month, and I’m going to have it on repeat all summer. To create the record the band teamed up with some iconic collaborators including Nile Rodgers, Sheffield’s own K.O.G and Seun Kuti, and the result is a brilliant 50 minutes of music that keeps you dancing.

Performed live, these songs reach another level. Musically, Nubyian Twist are at the top of their game – the masters at shaking up genres. You never quite know what sound is coming next. ‘Lights Out’, the song co-written with Rodgers, is a cool slice of disco funk, ‘So Mi Stay’ takes you straight to a reggae dancehall, while ‘Pray For Me’ offers jazz-infused hip-hop, for which Nubyian Twist are joined by NeONE the Wonderer.

Though the genders shift with each song, what stays consistent is a love of music. Nubyian Twist are having the time of their life performing tonight – you can tell by the huge smiles across their faces. These smiles radiate energy around The Leadmill. We are loving their music, and eventually the lines about who is inspiring who become blurred. “Sheffield, you are bringing a vibe and we are going to match you” Jaye shouts out. But of course, we are just responding to the vibe that’s on stage.

The fact that this a hometown gig makes it extra special. At one point Jaye shouts out her mum who is stood at the front, and who I imagine is feeling very proud. If you haven’t seen Nubyian Twist before, I couldn’t recommend them enough. They will have you grinning, dancing and singing for the whole set, with music and an outlook on the world that can’t help but make you feel good. In times like these we need more bands like this. Catch them next time they return home.

Accessibility info

The Leadmill is a step-free venue located on ground floor level, with disabled toilets. You can find more information about accessibility at the venue on their website.

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