Review: Professor Green

Leeds O2 Academy

Professor Green (real name Stephen Manderson) made his name through winning countless UK rap battles, catching the attention of Mike Skinner from The Streets.

After a disappointing record deal with Skinner’s (now defunct) label, the Hackney hip-hop lad rose to fame two years ago with I Need You Tonight and a collaboration with Lily Allen.

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Green casually walked on stage after a high-octane sound check, performing At Your Inconvenience the title track from his most recent album. Unfortunately, Green the main attraction was actually overshadowed by his ultra-talented backing vocalists – the female singer filled in magnificently for Allen in Just be Good to Green, and her male counterpart rose to the occasion with Labrinth in Oh My God.

A cluster of slow songs including Astronaught and Forever Falling didn’t really transfer well in the Leeds Academy. A dubstep remix of Remedy inspired a chaotic moment in the night: Green’s roadies piled on stage, chugging liquid down his neck while one particularly “large” member of the team bared his torso to the cheering audience.

By the time Monster was played towards the end of the night, the fuel had kicked in, resulting in a haphazard crowd surf. The show concluded with In This Jungle, originally featuring Maverick Sabre.

There is no doubt that the Prof has great songs. He’s also worked with a lot of people throughout his career – maybe too many, and he can’t rely on the big named singers in the live shows. Fortunately, Green has a brilliant team behind him making the audience go wild.