Rapper Stormzy captivated audiences in Kingston this week during a small series of intimate gigs at The Rose Theatre in Kingston.

Four shows spread over two nights (Monday, January 20 and Tuesday, January 21) sold out in a matter of moments as residents and fans scrambled to get tickets.

The much-loved theatre in Kingston was transformed, with a remarkable amount of gear like lighting rigs and amps shipped inside to create a unique setting for the shows.

The events saw The Rose collaborate with another giant of Kingston's cultural scene — Banquet Records.

Jon Tolley, who runs Banquet and is also a councillor on the borough council, spoke with the Comet about the momentous shows and hosting one of the biggest artists in the UK.

"The show was really good, and good for the town too," Tolley said.

He went on to describe the rapper's rapport with the Kingston audiences:

"He's very real, very humble, and takes time to have photos with everyone who waited at the stage door.

"He isn't just about keeping that original crew from pre-first album days which was a darker, grittier version...it's also about these new fans that include in this case children with parents and grandparents.

"It's a beautiful thing."

Stormzy is already a platinum-selling grime artist and producer, and the shows formed part of his touring for new album Heavy Is The Head.

At times outspoken on issues of class, race and social justice, he has kickstarted new discussions on these issues through his rising fame.

Tolley praised the rapper's consistent social commentary.

"He's using his platform for good," the Kingston Councillor said.

"I think he can be a divisive figure but for people who might not understand what he's trying to do.

"What is social commentary through music if you can't express an opinion on politics? I think he speaks to a lot of people who don't have that voice and it's important."

In the wake of the gigs, Banquet Records and The Rose Theatre posted threads to Twitter praising their success and thanking everyone for their support.

Stormzy too spoke glowingly about the experience, describing the four shows as life-changing on Twitter and thanking his hosts and fans.

"Thank YOU, thank you @BanquetRecords, thank you @Rosetheatre, thank you all for your support, thank you all for the love and energy that was in the room these past 2 nights, thank you for changing my life and thank you for memories I’ll keep forever ❤️ #HITH," the rapper said.

Tolley meanwhile posted an extensive thread online praising the numerous team members from Banquet, The Rose and Stormzy's own outfit who helped put on the gig.

Indeed, the logistical operation for staging one of Britain's most influential artists at the moment was massive, and the success of the four shows is an impressive achievement in its own right.

Yet Banquet has a long track record of doing just this – frequently hosting some of the UK's biggest artists in Kingston.

The very fact that big acts from The Who to Billie Eilish consistently come to perform in this modestly-sized corner of London suburbia is a testament to that.

"The quality of bands that pass through Kingston – this is happening week in, week out," Tolley pointed out.

"There's not really a reason to do this other than the fact that the local record shop got involved.

"The private sector can help do things like this where the council wouldn't be able to alone. What we need to do as a council is facilitate people who are trying to do stuff like this and help them do it," he added.