Dappy – review

Academy 2, Manchester

N-Dubz rapper/solo artiste Dappy is so synonymous with ludicrous headgear, it's impossible not to speculate about what he will be wearing on his bonce. A stuffed peacock? Small replica of the Houses of Parliament? Alas, this time Costadinos Contostavlos has opted for a sensible black beanie.

No matter, because there are other things to gawp at: the impressive green lasers, and the way the entire audience hold up their mobiles to film him despite the fact that the Dapster is virtually unrecognisable behind shades and that hat. But once the 24-year-old gets going, he's unmistakable, insisting that people told him he'd never make it, but now he's "a fuckin' star!"; singing about how girls used to run away screaming (never!) before informing would-be conquests of his current tastes – "short skirts, high heels, fake tans". Considering his track record of various public outrages, you wouldn't let him meet your mum, yet people love him. "Who wants to come backstage with me?" he cries, and even the audience's few boys throw up their hands.

He's a decent enough rapper – his speciality is hyperfast wordplay, Jay-Z style – combining bits of ragga with those huge, Auto-Tuned choruses that make up 95% of the top 40. But his appeal lies in the Dap factor, an entertaining ridiculousness. The songs concern living the dream and seeing girls' boobies. Each one ends with a yelled "Dap-ayyyy!" He announces a collaboration with Queen's Brian May – who appears on his forthcoming album – to the bafflement of his young fans. "Bryan Adams?" asks the girl next to me. Amid confused silence, he instantly rescues himself from this lead balloon by taking his top off, piling into signature tunes No Regrets and Rockstar, donning a sillier backwards cap and inevitably yelling: "Dap-ayyyy!"


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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