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12th December 2022

Live review: Shygirl comes out of her shell at Albert Hall

The South London artist plays an electric gig at Albert Hall following the release of her debut studio album Nymph
Live review: Shygirl comes out of her shell at Albert Hall
Photo: Shygirl @ Jacqueline Landvik

I have been listening to South London’s Shygirl for quite some time, but I never really knew much about her. Only recently did I find out what she actually looked like. She’s a “plus-size”, curvaceous, gorgeous, melanated, Black woman – with an OnlyFans account! We love to see it.

Shygirl’s most-played solo song, ‘Cleo’, was my top song on Spotify in 2022. It’s always amazing seeing your favourite songs performed live, and sometimes I will go to see artists just to hear them sing that one song. However, I was already familiar with Shygirl’s incredible catalogue, and I’d been listening to her recently-released debut studio album, Nymph, in anticipation of the gig. Her sound is a mix of genres including grime, hip-hop and hyperpop. She’s inventive and transgressive, and she brought that energy to her live show.

Her opening act was the brilliant, bold, bobbed Rose Gray. Her music complimented Shygirl’s sound well; she was a great choice for an opening act. Her look is just as funky as her music: she wore a futuristic, figure-hugging black dress with neon green taping. In other words, she came to slay.

Shygirl’s stage design was simple but incredibly effective. The stage floor was covered in white sheets whilst a mirror was placed behind it, on a near-45 degree angle. Moving images and video footage were projected on to the floor and reflected in the mirror. It was an inventive artistic decision that made the show feel like a fever dream. The moving images were especially stunning during the third song, ‘Heaven’. Shygirl appeared to be standing in a tropical paradise, and the reflections enclosed her in the space. She looked like an angel, in a different dimension to us ordinary folk.

Some of the images and videos projected on the floor were of Shygirl herself. The show, like her music, embodied self-love. She wore a loose black dress that proudly exposed her breasts. She had a remarkable stage presence but not in a “diva” sense – her presence was more angelic and relaxed.

Shygirl sang songs from her EP, ALIAS, her album, Nymph, and several non-album singles, such as the aforementioned ‘Cleo’. Highlights from the former included ‘Coochie (a bedtime story)’, ‘Honey’ (which she told us is about a slow orgasm), ‘Poison’ (which featured some great moves), and, of course, fan favourite ‘Shlut’.

The latter was one of the best performances of the night. She lay down on the stage and was surrounded by a (projected) circle of people. The mirror allowed the audience to see exactly what was being projected on the stage. We were stood in the VIP section at the side of the stage in the balcony, so we could see Shygirl and the projections from above, but if you were watching it head-on and saw all the projections reflected in the mirror, you saw something truly beautiful. Other highlights included ‘TASTY’ and non-album singles ‘Firefly’ and ‘BB’ (the latter being the penultimate song of the four-song encore). The only song I was sad not to see performed was ‘UCKERS’.

Photo: Shygirl @ Jay Darcy

It’s paradoxical, but the concert was simultaneously energetic and relaxed. Shygirl achieved the perfect balance between “let’s go crazy” and “chill the f*** out”. It was thrilling seeing her vivacious music come to life onstage, and I hope that more people come to appreciate her artistry and excellence.


Shygirl is touring the world with Nymph World Tour PT. 1 until mid-June 2023, and you can buy tickets here.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

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