Live Reports

Genuine emotions with Biig Piig at Botanique

After 4 years, Biig Piig was finally back in Brussels for a sold out show at Botanique last Friday. The Irish singer gave a touching and vibrant performance on a special day for her country – Saint Patrick’s.

Biig Piig @ Botanique – 17 March 2023 // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic

Concerts in the Rotonde venue at Botanique often have a special taste to them. There’s something about the semicircular pit that creates an intimate atmosphere where artists often feel comfortable showing their true colors. Biig Piig’s concert was no exception to the rule. The 25-year old Irish singer gave a performance that flowed between laughter, excitement and sorrow. This vibe matched the fun-but-self-reflective themes of her latest mixtape “Bubblegum(2023), a work that mingles pop, soul and electronica with lyrics in both Spanish and English.

Fierce supporting act – gala dragot

gala dragot @ Botanique – 17 March 2023 // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic

The evening started with a dazzling performance by rising pop talent gala dragot. gala is 17 years old and started writing songs when she was only 14. The young singer with Albanian roots wasn’t just there to present her diverse palette of songs, she was there to entertain us. We loved how she accompanied her vocals with acting parts (eyeing an imaginary bee on stage while singing “Bees”, for example). But it was not just her strong presence and naive wit that charmed the audience. She hypnotized us when singing about her frustration at running in circles while making music with her producer. Raw, refreshing talent this girl had – and a personality that fitted the intensity of her voice. Do check her out on Spotify!

Honest emotions with Biig Piig

Then enters Biig Piig, gracefully gliding over the stage wearing a white jewelled bra and grey baggy pants. The show starts with “This is What They Meant,” a playful pop track from “Bubblegum”. She greets us with genuine warmth, saying she’s happy to be back since last time in 2019.

What we loved most about the show was the wholesome atmosphere that prevailed in the crowd as well as between the musicians. Watching Dan (on the bass, synth and sax) and Piig dance together on stage channels the kind of energy that comes from witnessing true expressions of love. You could see Raquel (on the guitar) singing along to “Liahr” while Tom (on the drums) kept a watchful eye on the rest of the band.

Biig Piig’s musicians Dan & Raquel @ Botanique – 17 March 2023 // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic

For Biig Piig, the relaxed atmosphere seems to be a breeding ground for sharing her emotions on stage. First, she talks about her experience of making music while feeling hopeless, urging every self-made musician in the audience not to give up believing in themself. We later have a good laugh when a random fan starts imitating a happy seal after her performance of “Perdida”. While singing “Oh No”, a song that seems to have deep emotional meaning to her, Piig gets a little overwhelmed. She sheds a few tears, and the crowd tries to cheer her up (notably, the happy seal manages to make her giggle again). You can also see Dan making extra effort to pass on his positive energy, jumping around on stage on her more nostalgic track “In The Dark”. The vibe is a beautiful reflection of Piig’s wholesome, positive and self-aware song-writing – a warm manifestation of support and kindness.

The second half of the show is set to pull us even more into the performance, singing along to her pop track “Switch,” and dancing on Raquel’s guitar solo of “Feels Right”. Piig has seduced us with her sincerity and soft vocals and we’re thrilled to hear her sing acapella on “405” (her 2021 single with UK band Metronomy). As the night comes to an end, the crowd stamps their feet for the encore and Biig Piig wraps it up on the electric “Kerosene”.

It was an emotional ride with Biig Piig, but she managed to make her performance reflect the nature of a bubblegum – it tastes sweet, it’s fun to look at, and it sticks with you.

Setlist: This is What They Meant, Don’t Turn Around, Sunny, Roses and Gold, Perdida, Shh, Lyah, Oh No, In the Dark, 405, Ghosting, American Beauty, Picking Up, Switch, FUN, Feels Right, Kerosene (Encore).

Biig Piig is part of the London-based hip hop/pop artist collective NiNE8 (together with hotshots Lava La Rue, Mac Wetha, Bone Slim, Nige and LorenzoRSV). They’ll be back at Botanique on 30 April, make sure you don’t miss them!

Check out Biig Piig‘s latest mixtape “Bubblegum on Spotify.

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