Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Grime Star Raps Up a Storm in Emotional Hometown Gig; FIRST NIGHT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Grime Star Raps Up a Storm in Emotional Hometown Gig; FIRST NIGHT

Article excerpt

Byline: Alistair Foster'showbiz news and gossip MATILDA EGERE-COOPER

STORMZY Brixton Academy, SW9 STORMZY wasn't about to let the significance of selling out a venue a bus ride away from his home turf pass with little fanfare.

"There's not many youths where I'm from who get to sell out Brixton Academy," said the Thornton Heath MC during the first night of his three-night residency. "So bruv, this one's an emotional one."

That probably explains why he gave plenty of room in his hour-long set to soppy, slow jams such as Cigarettes & Cush and the heart-warming gospel singalongs Blinded By Your Grace (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2). They were reminders that the 23-year-old never aimed to be another rapper packing razor-sharp bars and witty wordplay.

He can carry a shy note thanks to his church upbringing but last night's finer occasions came when things were brilliantly grimy -- and in his words, "hashtag merky" -- making the most of a slick stage production aided by flashy visuals and his official DJ Tiiny. …

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