A shift in his normal run of things, AJ Tracey turns up the grunge his Pyramid Stage debut at Glastonbury 2022. After the colourful campaign for Tracey’s 2021 second album, ‘Flu Game’ and its jovial feel, his performance was stark by comparison as he appeared in greyscale; with graffiti-ed jeans, leather jacket and dark Matrix glasses to see him morph into his newest form: rockstar AJ Tracey.
Check out our photos from Tracey’s hard rocking set below.
AJ Tracey for Prime Minister
Tracey wanted to make a political statement before he made his big debut on Glasto’s biggest stage, Tracey played a voice over to honour the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire after its recent fifth anniversary, still calling for justice.
Public Service Announcement
In his long and passionate speech about “low-income people, people who grow up just like I did, go to bed every night not knowing if it’d be their last”, he pleas for justice for those residents affected by the fire. The speech is concluded by Tracey’s plea to our current Prime Minister to make a change: “Boris Johnson; I’m going to ask you a question: 72 of our friends and family are dead, and there have been zero arrests, why?”
Let’s get loud
After the serious start, we need to have some fun, and Tracey’s party anthems hit the spot. The crowd bounces erratically to a mixture of oldies and newbies like debut album deep cuts in ‘LO(v/s)ER’ and ‘Triple S’ and his most recent single, ‘Reasonable’. Tip-toeing over the edge trying to get as close to his fans as possible, it seemed like the 28-year-old was just having a laugh as we sing “I love me a pretty Latina” with him.
“Where’s all my sing-along crew?”
As well as pulling out the slower, more melodic tracks from his arsenal, Tracey reimagines some of his popular wave rap songs into a rock format with his banging live band. The best one had to be his cover of ‘Fashion Week’ by producer Steel Banglez and rapper MoStack – this time with the sultry track given a ska filter.
Getting drippy with his friend
Tracey only had one special guest in his set: the loveable Mancunian, Aitch. Performing their club banger collaboration ‘Rain’, the two come out and antagonise the crowd with their talent. Aitch, cup in hand and in a simple tee and cargos, is clearly feeling those Glasto vibes as he frolics on stage with his mate.
Gets gold with ‘Thiago Silva’
Reminiscing on Dave’s now legendary 2019 performance where he pulled up Glasto’s young hero Alex to rap Tracey’s parts of their underground grime classic, ‘Thiago Sliva’, the West London don revels in the glee of finally being able to perform his verses himself this time.
Meet rockstar Tracey
Beefing out his trap sounds with his ferocious live band, we get to hear what AJ Tracey as the rockstar could be like. It’s punk, and we are here for it.
Taking it back to the ends
Playing us out of his first main stage gig at Worthy Farm, he saves his biggest song to last: the NME Award-winning ‘Ladbroke Grove’. From start to finish, Tracey reps his ends from his Grenfell appeal speech, delivering seminal tracks and flashing up emotive imagery dedicated to his home. When he gets to the end of his set and asks us, “Where am I from?… I know west London, but where?”, we scream back ‘Ladbroke Grove’ before skanking away into the evening.
AJ Tracey played:
‘Lil More Love’
‘Rain’ (featuring guest rapper, Aitch)
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