“The North’s weird, they speak to you,” the South-London three-piece take turns in shouting, with additional mimics of an “alright bab” or “you ok love” thrown in. After two weeks on the road, mostly in the North, with The Streets’ garage head Mike Skinner, it’s clear The Manor are glad to be home in London.
It’s the third night of Skinner’s residency at the O2 Academy Brixton, and the grime trio, made up of MCs Danny Graft, Scotty Stacks and Jonny Dutch, are ready to open up for the ever-growing crowd. Best known for hiring a lorry to perform an encore down Camden High Street post-show, there’s big expectations for the group.
Wanting to ignore the relentless drizzle outside, dance-track ‘Ibiza’ reminisces back to the few months of sun we had. It’s less of The Hangover, and more of a boujee wild night out, but the party is quick to take over the floor. With the energy quickly brewing, they take us back once again, but this time to the ecstasy-fuelled ‘Hacienda’. We may be far from the days of 80s and 90s acid-house Manchester, but they push for the all-night raves of “that night in the Hacienda” to become a reality once again.
There’s little chance of the party ending anytime soon. Ahead of their Donae’O collab with ‘Tyson Fury’, we’re returned to 2016 for another rehash of ‘Freed From Desire’. Poor Will Grigg has been forgotten, but Fury is pushed back into the spotlight for the singalong. Now moved on into the hip-hop track, the tempo slows and the lyrics become more confrontational. It doesn’t detract from everyone’s upbeat mood, but instead shows the trio as less mad party boys jumping around the stage, and just all-around more aware with the political undertones.
Throughout their set, it’s hard to miss that they are party boys at heart. They don’t stop moving, with jumps and sprints across the stage, their energy funnels itself to the crowd almost instantly. They may not be the most innovative-sounding group, but it’s what everyone needed to have a good time. They know what works, and did it well.