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Review: music

Nina Nesbitt

Nina Nesbitt

The Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Teddy Jamieson

"This is certainly an improvement from playing to five people at the Electric Circus two-and-a-half years ago," Nina Nesbitt says as she gazes out across the raised heads and phone cameras filling the stalls at the Usher Hall.

No real surprise that. There's been an endorsement from Ed Sheeran, half a million You Tube hits, a top 40 single and a top 20 album in the interim.

And this is a hometown gig for the 19-year-old Balerno girl. She even brings her best mates on stage to sing backing vocals near the end.

Not that she needs them. With cheekbones like geometry, bare legs skinnier than Katy Perry's eyebrows and a voice more than big enough to fill the Usher Hall, Nesbitt has the chutzpah and the tools to headline a gig this size.

Her songs are teen-friendly anthems, like Laura Marling without the existential angst.

She comes across as the ideal older sister - someone to turn to for advice on boyfriends and career decisions.

Her band are tight and well drilled, if maybe ever-so-slightly utilitarian and a little old-fashioned too. Guitar solos, I ask you?

But it's striking that the best moments are those when Nesbitt is on her own and lets her voice carry the weight.

The last song before the encores, The Hardest Part, is the most affecting, though, and that's a band effort. It's where the drama of the lyric - lost love - is matched by the drama of the performance.

That just leaves time for massed crowd singalongs to Selfies and Stay Out and an ever-so-slightly teetering version of the Proclaimers' 500 Miles.

A home win, then. Time will tell if she has championship potential.

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