Gig Review: Bugzy Malone
Risen from the depths of Manchester’s darkest slums, comes the Berghaus-sporting, unapologetically-Mancunian, grime mogul Bugzy Malone, touching down in the Steel City as part of his headline tour.
Following the explosive release of his EP ‘Facing Time’, Bugzy has decided to tear the nation in half with a series of appearances across the country.
Appearing almost immediately after Isiah Dreads as if by some sort of magic trick, a shadowy track suited figure took the main stage at Plug, firing lyric after lyric through the microphone at a euphoric Sheffield crowd.
Bugzy alternated from the bitter and reflective tones of his recent release ‘Keep it Movin”, with hynotising synths and dark topics of his past life, to unleashing a flurry of aggressive grunts accompanying his new release ‘Mad’, stirring the crowd into a web of feral mosh pits.
Bugzy spins his lyrics with a unique deadpan style that cannot be echoed throughout the entire grime scene, and this comes out clearly in his unfiltered speech on releases such as ‘Pain’. The guttural grunt coupled with the aggressive inner-city Mancunian accent allows for vivid story-telling – unheard in the rhymes of his southern competitors.
Often mentioning his real life stomping grounds in Central Manchester, there is a certain humility and ugly reality that can be felt in his lyrics as he speaks on his personal struggles with family and frequent run-ins with the police.
“The only thing heavy is the weight of the world on my shoulder.”
Representing his city with the iconic 0161 area code, a sea of ‘Manny on the Map’ merchandise appeared to undulate on every drum beat hanging on every word. As he stood facing only the mic and turning away from the crowd, he appeared to be addressing an unknown foe directly with pugnacious flow as if unaware of the audience’s presence.
Six years after the release of his first mixtape ‘SwaggaMan’, Bugzy shows no signs of letting up from his conquest of the British grime scene, putting out two Top 10 EP’s through his own label, Ill-Gotten Records.
The performance ends on a hungry-for-more crowd demanding an encore from him, prompting a slight pause. Until the fist clenching tune ‘Mad’ is played to accompanying smoke clouds as the man returns to the stage to cause one final moshpit.
Chants of “0161” and “Manny on the Map” bounce across the masses as he darts across the stage, mic in hand, clenching his jaw with every lyric. The chants continue to Plugs entrance, after an unforgettable performance Sheffield surely won’t soon forget.
Bugzy will appear with Charlie Sloth and friends on December 31st at the Ritz in his home town. Tickets are now on sale!
Words by Daniel Amadi