slowthai celebrates triumphant 2019 with hometown show at Roadmender
It’s been a 12-months like no other for the Northamptonshire Music scene.
This year we’ve seen the return of post-punk goth icons Bauhaus, watched Billy Lockett appear with James Corden on The Late Late Show in America, seen Temples circle the globe (again) and had Krysthla open the main stage at the Bloodstock Festival.
Dozens of other musicians have released new music as part of a scene arguably stronger than it’s ever been.
However, one man has put Northampton on the national and international map in a way no other musician, anyone or anything else has done this year.
On Friday at the Roadmender, Tyron Frampton – AKA slowthai – put on a party to cap-off a stunning 2019.
“I’ve got some friends from London down tonight,” he explained early into his set. “Let’s show them how we party in Northampton.” Northampton didn’t disappoint.
For anyone who hasn’t been keeping up, following the release in May of his critically acclaimed debut album Northing Great About Britain, slowthai has played multiple sold out tours across the UK at venues including London’s Brixton Academy.
He’s gigged across the world, appeared in front of thousands at the Glastonbury Festival and on Later with Jools Holland.
When his LP was nominated for a Mercury Prize, slowthai stole the headlines at the awards show, walking on stage for his performance brandishing the head of a mannequin depicting PM Boris Johnson.
The photo of Ty holding the head aloft remains one of 2019’s most iconic music images.
While ultimately losing out on the Mercury, Nothing Great About Britain has featured in virtually every end of year album list and in December, the NME picked his recent track with Mura Masa, Deal Wiv It, as their single of the year.
slowthai marked the release of his album with a gig at The Garibaldi Hotel and in 2018 played at The Black Prince.
Since then, fans in Northampton have been calling out for a Northampton show and thanks to promoters Club Sessions, they were treated to one hell of a party at the Roadmender.
Not due on until midnight, Ty brought along a host of friends and guests to warm up the capacity crowd.
These included Max Frith, Kelvin Krash & Kasien, P-rallel and most notably, Mike Skinner from The Streets.
Friday wasn’t a ‘normal’ gig, where an artist simply walks on stage, plays 12 songs, thanks fans and clears off.
It was a celebration, a chance for slowthai, his friends and the hundreds inside to have a proper party and end 2019 a few days early.
Due on midnight, slowthai arrived 20 minutes early and with the DJs and MCs preceding him, he raced through a short karaoke set of some of his favourite tracks and influential songs.
When he turned his attention to his own material, it was a triumphant celebration of some his biggest hits which have catapulted him into the mainstream.
Deal Wiv It, Polaroid and T N Biscuits all featured early on along with his Denzel Curry collaboration Psycho.
Ty had fans eating out of the palm of his hands all night. For Inglorious, brought two fans on stage to handle Skepta’s verses.
Blurring the lines between rap and punk, slowthai initiated the biggest (anticlockwise) circle pic the Roadmender is likely to have ever seen while his ‘crack rabbit’ was engulfed by a ‘wall of death’ to rival anything the hardcore scene may have to offer.
By the end of the night, the stage was packed with those closest to the rapper, now topless and wearing a Santa hat.
slowthai brought his set to a close with Doorman before fans joined him for an acapella version of Wonderwall.
Despite coming a few days before the end of 2019, Ty treated Northampton to an explosive night (metaphorically and literally, yeah) celebrating probably one of the greatest years a Northampton native has ever enjoyed.
What now? Well, slowthai probably deserves a bit of time off in 2020 but after that, you’d be foolish to bet against him continuing to take over.