Manchester Depot Mayfield Warehouse
Sept 11th 2022
It must be the busiest night ever on the streets of Manchester. I’ve never seen so many people out and about grabbing the last rays of summer and packing the vibrant city centre and looking to the future. 12 000 of them are heading towards Depot Mayfield – the huge Victorian warehouse by the side of Piccadilly station that has been converted into a massive party venue with a whole host of names for the annual Repercussion festival.
Whilst, for some bizarre reason, the football has been cancelled whilst the champaign sports like rugger and cricket are plodding on, some venues have closed because of the death of the queen yet Manchester and Repercussion carry on with their own lives.
Little Simz is one of the key names at the sold-out festival along with Jamie xx. Mr Scruff, David Rodigan, A Certain Ratio, Nightmares On Wax and many others in a cutting-edge party full of the shining faces of the vibrant youth that will be creating a very different UK out of the ruins of the now.
Little Simz is part of this soundtrack. Her forward-thinking mindset and music is perfect for the melting pot that is full of the spice of life. It’s an outward-looking brew of influence that effortlessly moves from genres to create a soupy soupçon of her own. Simz glides across the stage oozing perfect cool and dealing the vibe with a blistering set of 21st-century future rap with strands of grime, funk and pop mixed into the whole.
She certainly has the presence to fill the room and an effortless cool as she sashays across the stage dressed like an urban guerrilla with her hair piled into her headgear and locked into the grooves. Her voice is extraordinary; one moment caustic raps, the next intricate wordplay and the next soothing sensitivity. It’s hypnotic stuff, and the live band mix it up with the loops and underpins her witty crafted rhymes and narrative storytelling with their dislocated and captivating rhythms.
There is a diversity of ideas here that never settles into one easy beat. One moment she can be an imperious hip hop queen like Lauryn Hill and the next cheeky scamp street rap, the next she can deal the truth about being a woman in the modern world all defiant and truth-telling.
Her flow is impeccable and perfectly measured and underlining the positive power of her award-winning third album Sometimes I might Be Introvert album – one of the major defining releases of 2022. An album that mixes personal politics with the politics of life and is a snapshot of the chaotic world that we are all trying to navigate in these disorientating times. Little Simz tells a truth and she deals it through these perfect slices of music that ooze and groove and with a voice that you can listen to for hours.
A stunning show from one of the most vibrant inventive musicians out there and the nu queen of rap.
Long live the queen!