Live Review/ Slowthai @ 02 Academy

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By Joe Boyd, Digital Music Editor

After taking 2019 by storm with his debut album Nothing Great about Britain, Slowthai has taken his blend of punk and grime on a nation-wide tour that brought him to Bristol’s O2 Academy on Thursday.

Hailing from Northampton, Slowthai brings a highly politicised discography to match his distinct energic and punchy rap style that is able to ignite any crowd he is put in front of. Addressing issues of drugs, domestic abuse, personal trauma, wealth inequality as well as talking about therapy openly, Slowthai is able to magnify some of the issues facing young Briton’s today, made only clearer by seeing him live.

After much anticipation and chants of ‘Slowthai’, Woioii the Crack Rabbit opened the gig to drop the intro to Nothing Great about Britain before Slowthai took the stage in a full black tracksuit and a pair of Air Max 97s.

After a frantic start with Drug Dealer following the title track, he dropped my personal favourite track Toaster. This drastic contrast from lively fast tracks before it to a calmer more soothing track that lays light on the loss of his younger brother to Muscular Dystrophy and his relationship with the police, only made the track hit harder with a visible change in the energy of the crowd. Captivated in a completely different way from the first two tracks.

After a brief speech the gig returned to the high energy that the opening to songs had set it up for, including a performance of an unreleased track called May Day, a powerful track with a punchy punk infused sound, but was cut after the first chorus.

The entire stage was completely lined with mirrors, which Slowthai proclaimed were there “to show you something great about Britain” before telling the audience they were gorgeous which, unsurprisingly, led to the track Gorgeous dropping straight after.

Slowthai did divert from his debut album, playing What’s Good from Tyler the Creators latest release IGOR. As well as dropping IDGAF, a classic from his 2017 EP I Wish I Knew which Slowthai split the crowd in half with the help of Woioii pacing through the middle making sure everyone waited for the drop.

Epigram / Joe Boyd

Coming towards the end of the gig, Slowthai rapped the first verse of Inglorious Bastards A cappella, before asking if anyone knew Skepta’s verse evidently inspired by success of Alex from Glasto. Charlie took up the torch and in fairness, smashed it, which understandably sent the crowd off, earning Charlie a hug from the man himself.

Overall Slowthai is a natural performer who is able translate his already critically renown material to even higher heights in his live performances. His onstage presence and likeable personality only enhance his already stellar discography leaving me already looking forward to when he is next in town.


AUTHOR

Joe Boyd

A Politics and Sociology Student with interests in: Music, Fashion, Art, Basketball, and Travel.