Shao Dow at 229, London photos

British grime MC Shao Dow per­formed a sold-out show at London’s 229 venue on Wednesday.

With dogged deter­mi­na­tion, he has steadi­ly built a fol­low­ing for his high-ener­gy grime, which is fre­quent­ly inspired by, and about, ani­me, gam­ing and East Asian culture.

The crowd were jubi­lant: bounc­ing, whoop­ing and recit­ing the lyrics to Dow’s songs, some of which are inspired by the likes of ani­me series, such as Attack on Titan (‘Levi Mode’) and My Hero Acad­e­mia.

While some sub­ject mat­ters or ref­er­ences may go over your head, Dow’s deliv­ery con­nects with the sol­id con­sis­ten­cy of a mar­tial artist. Songs such as ‘#Drop­kick­man’ and ‘Nani’ ric­o­chet off the walls with chest-thump­ing brava­do, and it’s easy to chant along to them.

DJ T‑Russ kept things mov­ing with Shao Dow’s com­bat­ive trap songs (‘Cursey’) as well as the afrobeat-tinged ‘Wait for the Summer’.

The over­whelm­ing mood that night was one of cel­e­bra­tion. The audi­ence were here for all of it: the sup­port­ing artists, the DJ’s old-school set and the impromp­tu break­danc­ing bat­tle that ensued dur­ing the inter­val, and Dow’s testos­terone-fuelled performance.

Dow thanked the crowd for embrac­ing his music, and the music of his fel­low MCs. He’s an affa­ble pres­ence and well worth see­ing if you fan­cy a dif­fer­ent shade of UK hip hop.

Shao Dow was sup­port­ed by Rustage, Shwaba­di, and Con­nor Quest!, who have also made names for them­selves in the nerd­core com­mu­ni­ty. They have been mak­ing their own live debut on Dow’s cur­rent tour.

Shao Dow’s Enter the Shao Dojo tour con­tin­ues through the autumn. See Shao Dow’s web­site for tick­ets.

Pho­tos by Aaron Lee

The above pho­tos and videos remain prop­er­ty of their respec­tive owner(s). Any repro­duc­tion or copy­ing is pro­hib­it­ed, unless pre­vi­ous­ly agreed with the pho­tog­ra­ph­er. Please con­tact the pho­tog­ra­ph­er direct­ly or email us here.