When Snoop Dogg announced he was to perform a surprise gig at Manchester’s Albert Hall, the local press organisations within the city were awash with ‘Snoop Returns’ headlines. Social media sites exploded as the buzz around his newly designed DJ Snoopadelic hit full peak in the run up to the show. Strange then it moved to the smaller setting of Whitworth Street’s Gorilla. Stranger still it only sold out a few hours before the event. However, what appeared to be a bizarre move turned out to be a masterstroke. So as the hours of Sunday 10 August grew and Monday morning’s work related escapades became increasingly more of a reality, Snoop was feet away. A masterstroke.
Rammed into the smoke filled proximities of the underground train-line bar were a host of the North West’s socialites including boxer Amir Khan and BBC Sport’s Sarah Stone.
Patience and unwinding was the evening’s mantra, due to the last entrance for the evening at 10. But frankly, nobody cared. They had Tempa T and MC Shakespeare for company.
12 O’clock though? No Snoop. If they were worried their man wasn’t around they were wrong. Smoking areas closed. Bodies gyrating. Then. Enter Snoop. Rolled up cig in hand, the 42-year old former rapper welcomed himself to the stage wording out the phrases on his collaboration track with Dr Dre ‘The Next Episode’. With the track bleating out around the heavy sound-system, the room became inundated with orange flames and a variety of smells flooding the room as obviously clear as the green on Snoop’s new adopted homeland’s flag.
The set gave Snoop a chance to drop a number of tunes that have made the musician as idolised as he is. From modern day classics ‘Blurred Lines’ through to Bob Marley’s ‘Could This Be Love?’ and Lionel Richie’s hit ‘All Night Long’, the mixture between the old school and the new struck a chord with the intoxicated crowd that allowed them to shimmy well past their normal Sunday bedtime.
But for all the chosen tracks Snoop Dogg collated, there was only one reason the audience popped out on such a torrid evening. His tunes. ‘Wiggle’ and ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ were clear remedies for this, with sections chanted by the relaxed performer sending the audience into rounds of chaotic dancing.
In the aftermath many of the crowd were left frustrated at the lack of interaction. Sorry? What did you expect from a DJ Snoopadelic set? A hoard of live musicians, bouncing boys backing him up and a string of naughtily attired women strutting around the room? Didn’t think so.
He left promising: “I’ll be back in Manchester to party any time you want.” It would probably be welcome next week, but frankly we’re still recovering.
Words by Clive K Hammond