One of the biggest faces of grime tore up the stage, throwing Gang Signs and Prayers around like they were going out of fashion, and us? Well, we all f*cking loved it.
Coming onto the UK’s hottest current music scene with just ‘Shut Up‘ and an array of Wicked Skeng Man’s in a clenched fist, to then being dead to the public ear for months, to now selling out his UK tour and obtaining a number one debut UK album along the way, it’s safe to say that no one saw it coming. But now that it’s here, no one wants that to go away. And by the looks of it, it’s not going to.
Kicking off his set with album opener ‘First Thing’s First‘ the MC allowed “fans” who haven’t heard the album yet to be slyly let into not only what the album has in store, but what the mind of Stormzy entails. Both reflecting upon mental health and his inability to revel in the glamourised world of a grime star, he sets himself aside from his fellow artists and gets real with the crowd almost immediately. And once that heart-to-heart was over, it was time for the “energy crew” to really get moving. Throwing in newcomers ‘Cold‘, ‘Mr Skeng‘ and ‘Bad Boys‘ the energy was firmly secured in the sold out venue- where it was then left to die for his soulful rendition of ‘Velvet‘ where the line “you thought that Stormzy couldn’t sing” was proved otherwise.
For good measure, and to answer the crowd’s endless chants, ‘Shut Up‘, ‘Wicked Skeng Man 4‘ and ‘Know Me From‘ graced the set – showing the crowd adopting the same energy that they did when it was released two years ago. His own version of Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You‘ set the crowd’s “mainstream” fans aside from the gassed-up hardcore ones, until ‘Return of the Rucksack‘ gave them their time to shine.
For his first return to Leicester since playing our student nights, Stormzy’s effort is nothing but commendable, and it’s clear his prayers have truly been answered – and so have ours.