Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1095

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A.J. Tracey: Alexandra Palace, London 8/11/19

A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com
A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com A.J. Tracey: Alexandra palace, London 8/11/19 @bluesandsoul.com

When Stormzy listed more than 50 grime artists during his iconic Glastonbury set over the summer, AJ Tracey was the first name from his lips. AJ, 25, has been around for a while, but his profile shot up to the next level with his anthem "Ladbroke Grove" this year, and the release of his self-titled album.

That he filled Alexandra Palace, with its 10,000 capacity, is testament to the affection he is held. And such was the demand for tickets that a second night was added when the Friday show sold out.

It was a visually stunning setup, with a runway in the centre of the arena, meaning AJ was surrounded on all sides by fans. "Doing It" and "Migos" got things underway, the West London rapper striding around the stage confidently, like he was born to play venues this size.

Few inside Alexandra Palace would argue with that, as his energetic flow worked the crowd into a frenzy. I've seen him a couple of times at festivals and been impressed with how he engages with crowds, and this headline show highlighted that perfectly.

Unsurprisingly there were plenty of guest stars waiting in the wings… MoStack appeared for a duet of "Fashion Week" and there were huge cheers when Skepta walked onto the stage for collaboration "Kiss And Tell". These are exciting times for British rappers, and AJ is at the forefront of the movement. There was one more surprise, as South Londoner joined him for the brilliant "Thiago Silva".

Make no mistake, grime will continue to grow, and fans can expect AJ's career to skyrocket with it.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

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