Review: ‘Bet ya a 5er’ Tour by Slowthai at Manchester Academy

‘Bet ya a 5er’ the tour from Slowthai with each ticket retailing at just £5, the Five date tour celebrates the release of his debut album ‘Nothing Great About Britain’.

The Northampton rapper is becoming a fan favourite after his previous 99p tour which was a huge sellout, he has also added a huge guest list for each date giving people guest lists via shout outs on Instagram.

The Mercury Prize nominee was a hot favourite to win the coveted award, pulling out a Boris Johnson head out of a bag and throwing it across the stage, might have hindered his chances but the statement is ingrained into his music.

Tonight Slowthai has put together a showcase for Manchester Academy and the venue and ticket price have amassed a large student presence.

Support comes from East London Hak Baker who recently performed on Jools Holland, expectations for Baker was more of an acoustic set but what he brought was loud, in your face, Ska/Folk, an exhibit of the high energy carried throughout the night, perfect for a Slowthai warm up.

A few more acts raise the hype before the shroud is released to reveal a backdrop of mirrors, the set up looks like Slowthai has made it himself, maybe he has with the price of his tickets.

He also has his mate with a demonic looking rabbit head with flashing red eyes who features heavily throughout the night. He opens with the title track ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ followed by ‘Drug Dealer’ it doesn’t take much time for the whole floor to be bouncing. He takes a second to explain the mirrored background…

‘It’s because I look good from behind… nah, this tours all about you’

For arguably still an upcoming artist fresh off the release of his debut album, Slowthai has built a strong catalogue of tracks and the crowd know every one.

Slowthai is as energetic as ever and has brought a few props with him tonight, he takes a break to fire out into the crowd the ‘bet you a 5er’ merch. Skepta’s now a very busy man so understandably not shown his face tonight but he pulls Katie out the crowd to join him on stage for ‘Inglorious’  an improv collaboration – she smashes it out of the park.

Slowthai loves a mosh pit and he’s giving the crowd all the help they can get, he parts the waves and makes a corridor down the middle of the academy. He sends his floppy eared friend down the middle who emerged toward the end of ‘T N Biscuits’ looking uneasy on his feet.

The show is coming toward its penultimate track and the crowds showing no sign of letting up.

Slowthai, ‘Northampton’s Child’ sees some masked gunmen (super soakers) pop up from the pit to soak the crowd, it’s all a bit novelty but he gets away with it. He’s been bottling up the best for last, signature track ‘Doorman’ sees everyone back up to the perimeter as the grungy distorted bass kicks in, the venue ignites.

Slowthai will have a huge following wherever he goes, you can see the enjoyment in each show he plays. Currently Grime is booming in Britain and Slowthai is right at the forefront, there’s a mural of Stormzy on the Academy’s wall from his show back in April 2017, how far will Slowthai go in the next couple of years?…

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