The Glasgow crowd evidently know Stormzy from somewhere. They’re screaming back the words to his 2014 hit like they’re getting their vocal chords removed tomorrow, and bouncing hard enough to make the floor shake. At times it’s flat-out mesmerising.
And the audience, front, back and centre, are absolutely caked in sweat.
As the song finishes, the London rapper stands at the edge of the stage topless, arms spread wide to reveal the full wingspan of his 6ft 5” frame. A wall of sound reverberates back at him; the screams and shouts of the Glasgow crowd intercut with the sound of a sold out O2 Academy stamping their feet in unison.
This was Stormzy’s penultimate number, before a mass sing-along closed the show with ‘Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2’. But the same level of energy had been flowing since the grime star took to the stage.
Stormzy’s debut album ‘Gang Signs and Prayers’ has been an instant success. It’s not the in-your-face diss record that many might have expected, though. Sure, those tracks are in there (and they’re good) – ‘Shut Up’, ‘Big For Your Boots’, ‘Mr Skeng’, ‘Bad Boys’ – but there’s a softer side to Stormzy; a slow-dancing smooth crooner who shows himself on tracks like the beautiful ‘Velvet’, instantly catchy ‘Cigarettes & Cush’, on the story-telling of ‘100 Bags’ and of course on ‘Blinded By Your Grace’ parts one and two, which Stormzy tells the Glasgow crowd are “of particular importance to him”.