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Review: Lil Peep @ O2 Academy Islington, London

The sold out show London further cements Lil Peep's monumental rise.

A sold-out room in England’s capital. A crowd singing back every word to Lil Peep (born Gustav Åhr). It’s a far cry from his early Long Island days, blending together Brand New and Postal Service samples with his distinctive hip-hop drone, rolled out across free online streaming services. It’s testament to the power of his scene, largely formed and led by Peep and his Goth Boy Clique collective, who have singlehandedly reinvented a couterculture for today’s outcasts.

It’s no surprise that Peep has welcomed fans from across the musical spectrum, blurring the lines between rock and hip-hop by transporting the angst of one into the swagger of the other. He’s made himself a pin-up in the process, covered in mismatched tattoos with a fashion sense that screams misunderstood. His clique, rapidly expanding since his move to London following a show at Omeara earlier this year, stands to the side of the stage, mesmerised by their leaders command of the audience.

 

If it sounds like it shouldn’t work, you’d be pleasantly surprised. Because it does. It really does. The crowd are enthralled by Peep’s casual stage presence. He interacts with his crew in-between taking to centre stage to deliver his often self-deprecating tunes. All the while, tonight’s O2 Academy Islington crowd repeat, charge at the stage, and crowd surf just to get closer to their idol. Their hero.

Peep has found a voice in a sea of misfits and outcasts. His bravado is juxtaposed by an uncensored honesty. It clearly talks to a crowd disenfranchised by hip-hop’s otherwise grandeur. It’s unlike anything that has come before.

Adding song after song to the end of his set, and calling on his friends and collaborators to join him on stage, O2 Academy Islington has tonight hosted a rapidly emerging new wave of music. This appears only to be the start for Lil Peep and Goth Boy Clique.

Lil Peep doesn’t have any more UK live shows just yet, but follow him on Ticketmaster.co.uk to know when he’s back, and check out our Urban Guide for more.

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