Review: slowthai caps off UK tour with triumphant sell-out gig at Brixton Academy

slowthai at the Brixton Academy. Picture: David Jackson
slowthai at the Brixton Academy. Picture: David Jackson

David Jackson reviews slowthai at the Brixton Academy

Mid-way through Tyron Frampton’s sell-out headline show at Brixton Academy on Friday, he instructed fans inside to turn on their phone’s flash and hold it aloft.

slowthai: 'The atmosphere was electric throughout'. Picture: David Jackson

slowthai: 'The atmosphere was electric throughout'. Picture: David Jackson

As the south London venue was illuminated, thousands of small lights reflected back off the stage which was covered top to bottom, left and right with mirrors.

Despite slowthai’s album title being Nothing Great About Britain, he addressed the packed venue, telling them, they were what’s great about the country.

It was a poignant moment by the Northampton native who has had an incredible year.

In September last year, slowthai was playing the likes of Mama Roux in Birmingham and The Underworld in London.

While both respectable venues, he’s been on an incredible upwards trajectory since.

In the last 12 months he’s sold out his Brexit Bandit, 99p and Bet Ya A £iver tours, released an acclaimed, award nominated, debut album and sent Daily Mail and Daily Express keyboard warriors into meltdown when he brandished the severed head of the PM at the Mercury Prize show.

Brixton felt like a celebration of everything slowthai has achieved.

The atmosphere was electric throughout and Ty, joined by hype man and producer Kwes Darko, relished every moment.

The move up to a venue the size of Brixton brought with it blasts of CO2 and flames which shot into the air on regular intervals.

Unfortunately, it also meant dealing with the venue’s random ‘black spots’ where audio fails reach whatever the act or genre.

Hitting fans with a ‘one-two’ of Nothing Great About Britain and Drug Dealer, before long Jaykae was on stage for Grow Up.

Latest single Psycho with Denzel Curry and Heaven Belongs To You from the latest Brockhampton LP gave fans a taster of newer material, but much of slowthai’s set featured the tried and tested tracks he’s performed in recent months including the likes of Crack and Ladies.

Skepta’s arrival for Inglorious sent the already buoyant Brixton crowd into overdrive and set closer Doorman was accompanied with sparks raining down on the stage.

Relying on, mostly, one man to dominate the Brixton stage is always going to be challenging, but throughout Ty was bounding around, jumping into the air and making use of every inch.

Where does slowthai go from here? Well straight to Europe and then to take on the US and you wouldn’t bet against him making as much of an impact stateside as he has over here.