First thing’s first: never miss an opportunity to see slowthai live. It was on Friday 24th November that the young rapper’s cult following showed up in full force—all mosh-pits and youthful aggression—for the celebration of his debut headline show. Echoes of sonic waviness had the audience in anticipation as slowthai jumped off stage and split the crowd into two sides, walking up and down and teasing onlookers before the “IDGAF” chorus dropped. The Northampton native’s grime-inspired, rap-meets-punk anthem created a wild mosh-pit in the centre of the venue. And did I mention that the venue was an ACTUAL CHURCH!? St. Pancras Old Church was filled with smoke, adding an extra-spooky gothic feel to his already sinister sonics, and was dimly-lit by two small red lights and a white light coming from the ceiling of the church, overseeing the organised chaos below.

Everywhere slowthai went—as he circulated around the church and back to the stage—fans, aged between their mid-teens to their early thirties, followed after him to continue the anarchy and, surprisingly, there wasn’t an overwhelming force of phone lights Snapchatting the show; most people were there to absorb the vibrations that surrounded them. Producer Kwes Darko was also a strong force throughout the night—DJing, calling for moshing, doing ad-libs, and generally adding an extra layer of hype to the show. Kwes and slowthai’s connection can be heard perfectly on “Round & Round” which, on the night, received four reloads in total—and rightly so.

The songs “Kenny” and “Jiggle” transitioned superbly from wax to live performance, and slowthai’s energy and enriched sense of community pulled the audience together—some who knew each other, and many complete strangers. With so much music out there right now, it’s rare to find an artist like slowthai who ticks every box. If there’s one thing you should do after reading these words, it’s to stream his recently released project, I Wish I Knew, as well as his debut EP, slowitdownn. Trust: you won’t be disappointed.

Words + Photography: Hyperfrank

Posted on November 27, 2017