LIVE REVIEW: guccihighwaters @ The Star & Garter, Manchester (15/05/2019)

Credit: Promo

Date: May 15th, 2019
Venue: The Star & Garter, Manchester
Support: Sullii / Jay Vee
Website: None available


With the rise of SoundCloud rappers in recent years, the genre of emo rap was also born, known of prominently through the late Lil Peep and rising forerunner nothing,nowhere., yet it still for the most part remains a largely underground and shadowed movement.

One the freshest emerging names is guccihighwaters, who in just under a year of being active and with just a handful of songs to his name has managed to amass millions of plays on Spotify, and by extension quite the following too.

He’s worked alongside Long Island based producer Jay Vee on some of his tracks, and he’s brought him along as a sort of customised buffer of sorts to warm the crowd up for the two acts spread across tonight. Vee jumps onto the stage and plays the role of DJ, setting the mood by pumping out songs like ‘Hammer’ by nothing,nowhere. and ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X.

With the vibe set right, Sullii [7] (aka Josh Rogers) climbs onto the stage and standing alone (save for Seb Sanders in the back cueing the instrumentals) as the sole focus is a definite change from the high flow of energy coming from all directions that we’ve come accustomed to from him fronting Crooks.

It’s only Rogers‘ second live run under his solo moniker of Sullii, which is not so much emo rap as it is emo R&B (just think if Justin Timberlake or Usher were fed on heavy diets of Sunny Day Real Estate or Hawthorne Heights and you wouldn’t be too far off), and he certainly seems far more confident than he did supporting nothing,nowhere. a few months prior.

Songs like ‘Kodama’, ‘Calmer’, and ‘Mine’ all manage to show Sullii‘s willingness to vary his approach, and also showcase his impressive voice. There are several times where the volume of his backing vocals in the mix are way, which is something that could certainly do with tweaking to allow his live talent to shine, but there’s definitely potential for Rogers to flourish.

Jay Vee returns to the stage once again, pumping out further cuts like ‘Studded Gucci Belt’ by Lil Aaron, before guccihighwaters [6] (aka Morgan) makes his appearance and joins him, and from the off the room bounce along to his low-tempo cuts.

Indeed, it’s hard to not bop your head along to songs like ‘Stupid Mess’ and ‘Oh Fuck I’m Drunk’, complete with their self-deprecating and self-loathsome yet painfully relatable lyrics. A new cut called ‘Amnesia’ also manages to creep its way into the set too.

Unlike supporting act Sullii, guccihighwaters has stripped any vocal tracking from the backing instrumentation, ensuring 100% of the vocal output is live. It allows for his presence to feel far more human, though at times he comes across as a little restrained and apprehensive; whether it’s nerves, fatigue from coming to the end of the tour, or just a bit of an off-day isn’t certain.

Regardless, what you’ve got to keep in mind is that guccihighwaters is still young, both as a person being only 21-years-old, but also as an artist. Originally he set out as a producer, but now moving into becoming a prominent artist of his own, the early days are already looking promising for this fresh face.