Professor Green review – sinking in session-muso gloop

It took this trouble-prone rapper with poor sound equipment too long to get the party started

From teenage drug dealing to a No 1 record to being robbed outside his house, Professor Green’s life has witnessed more twists than a soap opera. Like the recent critically-panned third album, Growing Up in Public, this tour has been much postponed after an annus horribilis in which the rapper was hit by a car and banned for drink-driving. He begins in melancholy mood with Lullaby, which deals with his father’s suicide. Alas, backing singer Katie Holmes-Smith is more audible than the whiny rapper, and his emotional lyrics are undermined when he breaks and yells, “Put your arms in the air, Newcastle”, and starts grinning like a Butlins redcoat.

A break, marriage and “growing up” clearly haven’t affected his uncanny ability to locate an open manhole and merrily tumble into it. “I almost didn’t make it because some bitch took a bite out of my neck in Glasgow,” he begins, before realising the clanger. “When I say ‘bitch’, I don’t say man or woman. It wasn’t a sexist comment. That’s not how I want to begin this evening.” He heads for more trouble when he asks, “Have you no feelings, Newcastle?” but adds. “Neither ’ave I. So let’s fackin’ ’ave it.”

’Avin’ it is hardly helped by the live sound, a highly processed, partly canned, session-muso gloop over which Green tries to inject personality. His claim to be “rap’s George Best … with a lot more sex” isn’t best served by the ghastly Not Your Man, which unfavourably compares his penis to that of rival rapper Dappy’s.

When all seems lost, early hits Monster and Read All About It finally get the party started. However, the gig is noticeably not sold out, and his parting shot – “I can’t promise not to get nicked again” – suggests that there may be more trouble ahead.

• At Academy, Liverpool, on 1 December. Box office: 0844 477 2000. Then touring.

Contributor

Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Professor Green – review
Green's battle here wasn't against the pernicious influence of mammon on the British rap community – it was against lousy sound, writes Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

03, Nov, 2011 @5:51 PM

Article image
Professor Green – review

For all his coiled intensity, Professor Green is a crowd pleaser, turning the gangsta braggadocio of Do for You and thrilling dubstep glower of Jungle into singalong celebrations, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

21, Oct, 2010 @9:01 PM

Article image
Professor Green tells his record label: 'Do your jobs properly'
Rapper hits out at EMI after delays to new single, and complains of paying 25% of earnings to label that won't work for him

Sean Michaels

08, Aug, 2012 @9:51 AM

Professor Green live session - How I wrote Astronaut

Hackney-born rapper Professor Green visits the Guardian studios with his full band in tow to play a special version of Astronaut from his new album At Your Inconvenience – and talk about some of the serious issues behind it

Ben Kape, Andy Gallagher, Alex Healey and Mustafa Khalili

03, Nov, 2011 @12:22 PM

Article image
Professor Green webchat – your questions answered on celebrity, dogs and urban life
The rapper’s discussion ranged from the pain of losing his father to canine etiquette and his plans to make more social documentaries

29, Nov, 2016 @2:25 PM

Article image
New band of the day – No 682: Professor Green
This north London MC is a bit of an Asher Roth – he's OK, but nothing to write, or rap, home about

Paul Lester

03, Dec, 2009 @3:32 PM

Article image
Professor Green: Growing Up in Public review – slightly edgy pop
Professor Green’s latest album reflects a new maturity, but it’s still powered by drum’n’bass and snarling hip-pop, writes Lanre Bakare

Lanre Bakare

18, Sep, 2014 @9:29 PM

Professor Green: Alive Till I'm Dead | CD review
Professor Green's inventive rhymes outshine his obvious choice of samples, says Luke Bainbridge

Luke Bainbridge

17, Jul, 2010 @11:05 PM

How Professor Green gatecrashed the charts

Professor Green's I Need You Tonight shows that, provided you keep it PG, UK hip-hop can achieve chart success

Rosie Swash

20, Apr, 2010 @4:24 PM

Article image
Professor Green: 'Lily Allen put me back on my feet'

The former 'angry yoot' has swapped rap battles for chart hits, street life for TV. So has Professor Green grown up?

Sam Wolfson

07, Oct, 2011 @11:05 PM