Slowthai review – frenzied rapper indicts a toxic nation

Deaf Institute, Manchester
Bone-snapping beats power this incendiary show of outsider rap, as the Northampton MC crowdsurfs in his underpants to deliver a state-of-the-nation rant

‘When I say fuck, you say Theresa,” screams Slowthai to a sweat-doused audience. The crowd dutifully shout back the abuse before a chant of “Fuck Theresa May” is instigated by the MC. Tyron Frampton, the self-proclaimed “king of Northampton”, is making a mockery of patriotism as he stands in his underpants in front of a giant union jack shouting, “Fuck the Queen” as the national anthem plays.

His own music is anything but a mockery. Along with DJ, producer and MC Kwes Darko, he performs incendiary takes of tracks such as Drug Dealer and Polaroid, which bounce between hard-hitting grime and wonky rap in tone, all delivered with a fast-paced, pristine and fervent flow. He whips the crowd into a jumping, moshing, circle-pit-forming frenzy, as basslines shake the building, beats click like snapping bones and electronics spit and gurgle.

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