Little Simz brings soul to Sussex

Little Simz headlines Love Supreme festival with a triumphant Saturday night set

Little Simz’ headline performance at jazz, funk and soul festival Love Supreme on Saturday night certainly raised a few eyebrows from the older heads in the North Stage audience. “This isn’t very jazz is it?” remarked a slightly cantankerous chap when she entered the stage to ‘Silhouette’. 

In what might’ve been seen as a rogue bit of curation for the festival’s tenth anniversary was, in fact, a stroke of genius – securing a generational British rap talent, undeniably inspired by the aforementioned music genres, who managed to win over every single soul at the festival with a truly sublime performance.

Love Supreme Festival is one of the (frustratingly) rare UK events to have elevated exclusively black female artists to the summit of their line-up. With a bonafide superstar in Grace Jones headlining the following night, Simz was flying the flag for the younger cohort at the multi-generational event – and she wasn’t short of belief that she’s earned the right to be there. 

Dressed in a black bomber jacket with her hair in rows, Simz looked self-assured – the infectious chorus of ‘I Love You, I Hate You’ could as well have been a middle-finger to her detractors as much a love-letter to her supporters. She didn’t hold back with the more acerbic tracks in her repertoire either, with ‘Venom’, ‘Point And Kill’, and ‘Fear No Man’ all included in the setlist. 

Perennial favourite ‘101 FM’ and ‘Selfish’ obviously went down a treat, the latter encouraging Simz to start a festival-wide call-and-response to the song’s title whilst waves of hands and arms reached into the summer sky. Simz was lapping it up, extracting cheers from the feverish audience at every opportunity. 

The triumphant ‘Introvert’ signalled a costume change, as Simz returned in an angelic all-white outfit, though her demeanour hadn’t become any less defiant; strict intention with every line she delivered. She brought the feel-good factor to Love Supreme with her finale in ‘Woman’, undoubtedly convincing everyone – no matter their age or disposition – that her credentials as a festival headliner are undisputed.

Little Simz begins her UK headline tour in November. Find Little Simz tickets here.

Tickets for Love Supreme 2024 will be on sale soon.

Photo credit: Harry Herd / Getty