Entertainment, Manchester

Review: Stormzy and A2 @ Manchester Academy

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Humanity Hallows Issue 5 Out Now
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By Sam Gosling
Images by Madbulle

Stormzy the 23-year-old MC, AKA Michael Omari, is currently riding the second wave of resurgence of the Grime scene in the UK. In fact he’s probably the biggest grime artist in the world right now and, with a spot at Glastonbury this summer, Stormzy’s popularity and reach is only increasing.

Bringing his sold-out show to the Manchester Academy on Friday night, he demonstrated just how he’s conquered the UK one city at a time. His album Gang Signs and Prayer was critically acclaimed and not only did it catapult to the top of the charts it is currently one of the top five best selling albums of 2017.

Supporting Stormzy was up and coming grime artist A2. Signed to Disturbing London, his single Gold has been championed by non-other than global superstar Drake. Warming up the crowd nicely, A2 had his share of fans in the crowd and marked himself as one to watch in 2017.

With the atmosphere at a peak, the Croydon born Stormzy took to the stage just after 9pm behind a cloud of smoke and had the crowd singing every lyric from the first line to the last. He opened the show with First Things First which worked fantastically, hitting as hard as the show continued to throughout its duration. I have witnessed some fantastic gigs at the academy over the years but never before have I experienced an atmosphere as electric as Friday night.

Playing his album in full, with Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You thrown in for good measure, Stormzy radiated an infectious energy and his fans seemed to hang on his every word. He declared, “This is the biggest headline show I have ever done Manchester and I will never forget this night.”

Particular highlights were the amazing Cigarettes and Cush, Bad Boys and Blinded by Your Grace P1. Leaving the stage after an hour, he came back on with an encore that included the hit single Big For Your Boots and the epic Where You Know Me From which ended the night on a high.

Declaring to the crowd, “Manchester I love you, get home safely,” he left the stage and certainly left a lasting impression on everyone there. One thing is for sure, 2017 is going to continue to be a huge year for Stormzy.

You can find out more about Stormzy on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

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