O2 Ritz, Manchester
10th December 2021
American-born, London-based singer/songwriter Ashnikko has been described as one to watch – a rising star in the world of pop-punk, rap, hip-hop, (she combines all those elements to her music.) Louder Than War photographer Melanie Smith, captured the rabble-rousing performance in Manchester, fresh from a two-night sold-out show in London.
Tonight we are in the midst of the weird and wonderful universe which surrounds Ashnikko, as she brings her Demidevil Tour to town. Kicking off with DJ Krystal dropping the tunes, the floor is bouncing with the beats. Blue-haired Ashnikko bounds onto the stage, like a real-life anime character, resplendent in a black and white ensemble and huge mushroom-type statues on either side, complete with huge eyeballs. She bursts into Tantrum – “I’m a handful, demi-devil” – the lighting is switching blue, green and pink, the energy from Ashnikko is playful and energetic. STUPID, the song with venomous, lyrics is up next – taken from her third EP Hi It’s Me, which featured Yung Baby Tate, and made her a star on the Tik Tok platform as it went viral. Moving quickly after a short chat to the crowd she launches into Working Bitch; she tells us “Ain’t got no time for dick, you wish you could sway my attention” – they are hard-hitting lyrics. Ashnikko is a proud feminist and her songs are very liberating and forthright, fueled by her experiences, beliefs and attitudes. She’s had 600 million streams on Spotify and is becoming increasingly popular with the younger electro-pop-rap crowd, as is evident tonight. The packed-out crowd is mainly full of young female aficionados, dressed to kill in all manner of colourful outlandish outfits, signs held aloft and lots of smiley, happy faces. It’s a breath of fresh air to see an artist make the effort with theatrical shows and use her platform to shout out about discrimination. If tonight’s show is anything to go by, we may have a contender for Madonna’s crown.
Setlist: Intro (Plastic Doll) Tantrum/ Stupid/ Working Bitch/ Deal With It/ L8r Boi/Toxic/ Invitation/ Little Boy/Drunk With My Friends/ Slumber Party/ Good While It Lasted/ Panic Attacks in Paradise/ Cry/ Halloweenie IV: Innards/ Manners/ Maggots/ Daisy
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