The Black Prince, Northampton
Friday October 5th
N-Town-raised rapper/grime artist on the rise, Slowthai (born Tyron Frampton), is destined for greatness as is evident at his show at The Black Prince tonight. Announced months ago the gig is shrouded in secrecy, the venue only announced the day before, and sold out long before that. The Black Prince is the perfect venue for this gig.
The dark, hot, sticky-floored venue is ideal for the heavy, piercing and percussive performance, akin to early Dizzee Rascal (an easy comparison, but true), spat with equal parts venom and love to a crowd that resembles more ’80s punk than anything else.
He climbs the speakers, loses some clothes, throws some drinks, crowd surfs, moshes, heckles, and spreads love to his family. Slowthai’s encouragement to the people at the front to stare at the people just “standing there” at the back is some Jedi mind trick that makes your correspondent (just standing there, at the back) feel both annoyed at being called out, and, opposingly, want to be in with the crew at the front.
The music production is heavy and tight, minimal hip-hop/trap flavoured, but well layered and with just enough melody to emphasise the vocals without drowning them. That’s good because you need to hear these lyrics, they are powerful.
Anyone that gets a crowd chanting ‘NN’ is good. We are all products of our environment, and NN is mine, Slowthai’s, and yours. I didn’t know too much of Slowthai before attending this gig, but now I’m a fan.