LIVE: Self Esteem – Rock City, Nottingham, 24/02/2023 1

LIVE: Self Esteem – Rock City, Nottingham, 24/02/2023

Currently surfing the wave of success from her Mercury nominated album, Prioritise Pleasure, Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s (aka Self Esteem) name is on everyone’s lips. One of the most hardworking artists on the scene, the Sheffield born singer-songwriter spent the majority of 2021 impressing on the live music and festival circuit. Boasting a wealth of sold out dates, her current tour has been extended several times – luckily for us, we were there to catch the opening night at Nottingham’s Rock City. 

Featuring glitching synths and lyrics about putting yourself first, Self Esteem came onstage – dressed in a grey suit reminiscent of David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ tour – to the powerful ‘Prioritise Pleasure’’, before diving into crowd favourites ‘Fucking Wizardry’ and ‘Moody’. With each and every track receiving a rapturous response, it’s evident just how much Rebecca’s lyrics resonate with people – from the cathartic lyrics of the blistering ‘How Can I Help You’, that take aim at the misogynistic standards and objectification that women are subjected to, to the painfully honest lyrics of ‘I Do This All The Time’, that explore how complicated it is to be a human.

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Though Rebecca’s skillset doesn’t end with upbeat tracks and swelling choruses and some of the night’s most stunning moments lay in tracks of a more downtempo nature, with both ‘Just Kids’ and ‘John Elton’ seeing her air her vulnerable side by stepping into the spotlight at the front of the stage for both performances. Whilst ‘Just Kids’ was complete with goosebump inducing choral outbursts from her talented band, it was her performance of ‘John Elton’ in particular that stunned the crowd into silence.

Always full of surprises, you never know what Rebecca has up her sleeve and the set featured the live debut of two new songs – ‘Mother’ and ‘Love Second’. Offering a glimpse into what’s next for Self Esteem, the infectious tracks served as a reminder of Rebecca’s ambition and desire to continually experiment with her sound, challenging herself in the process.

The main set came to a euphoric end with ‘The Best’, the buoyant opening track of the debut Self Esteem album, Compliments Please – before the band kicked the encore off with the rumbling synths and dark beat of ‘I’m Fine’. Addressing the issue of consent, the track saw Rebecca almost snarling as she aired her frustration and showcased the overwhelming element of unity and support that Self Esteem shows offer.

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Despite not having a large budget, Rebecca has once again succeeded in bringing a huge scale production to a small stage. Though her stage set up is minimalistic, her creativity is reflected in the lighting, outfit changes, and slick choreography – forever complimentary about her band and those behind the scenes, Rebecca is as humble as ever and set time aside to thank her team for working their magic and making everything possible. 

With an explosive opening show that was nothing short of triumphant and over twenty tour dates to go, we can conclude that it’s Self Esteem’s world and we’re just living in it. 


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.