By Sophie Tebb, Second Year English & Philosophy
Slowthai is by no means a new name to music nerds, launching onto the scene in 2019 with his overtly political album Nothing Great About Britain demonstrating his capability in combining grime and punk.
His next album TYRON did much the same whilst providing a more sombre account on its second half. UGLY captures both forms whilst making its own, with a new level of vulnerability embedded in heavy post punk guitars.
Despite the downpour of rain and partial snow that began before the show, Bristol fans were by no means put off, turning up in full force and in a sea of football t shirts to fill the sold-out venue. Morale was kept high throughout, with levels of rowdiness that one would expect from a Slowthai gig.
Coming on stage at an early 8pm, many fans were still in the smoking area expecting a later appearance from the quintessentially British artist. However, less than 30 seconds into his opening song ‘Selfish’ I was sucked into the mosh pit taking me from the middle/back of the venue to being two rows from the front (at the heart of the chaos, and riled up adolescent men).
He initially performed five songs from his latest release UGLY, including the repetitive fan favourite single: ‘Feel Good’. This was one of my least favourites off the album prior to the show. However, after the immersive experience of being at the heart of the mosh pit with Ty providing an interactive performance, I left the show with a newfound appreciation demonstrating the importance of his relationship with his fanbase. This was perhaps most pertinent with the album being released only five days prior, being totally unapparent given the crowd screaming the lyrics word for word alongside Ty.
Moments of rest were embedded into the set with the more overtly melancholic songs ‘adhd’ and ‘feel away’ allowing for a more personal interaction with Northampton’s child, where the crowd stood still (apart from the occasional flying beer can providing an obstacle to dodge). This breather was short lived, with Slowthai himself interrupting: commanding the influential crowd to shout “F***…the Lathums”, the Lathums being Ty’s competitor for number one spot on the UK album charts.
Clearly eager to receive a number one spot, demanding and explaining how we could aid this by downloading his album. This pettiness is perhaps the side to Ty we are more accustomed to demonstrating that, despite his emotional and personal growth we have seen reflected in his more recent works, the cheeky and provocative Slowthai we know and love co-exists alongside this.
This was evident in the latter half of his set that included the iconic songs ‘Doorman’ and ‘Deal Wiv It’, promising an honest Slowthai experience. The uproar from the crowd after hearing the easily identifiable bassline introductions to both songs was unforgettable, my heavily bruised legs providing a daily reminder of this.
Overall, the frontman, only accompanied by a guitarist and drummer, once again highlighted an internal rage commonly shared amongst young British people towards social issues and more personal issues such as mental health difficulties through an incredible and energised performance.
Featured Image: Sophie Tebb
Have you seen Slowthai live?