Friday 26 October 2012

Professor Green @ Under The Bridge, Chelsea

Just as his love life has pulled him from Hackney to Chelsea, Professor Green played an intimate gig at Under The Bridge by Chelsea Football Club last night inventively named "Hallow'Green".  Ahem.  At least, it was as intimate as one of his gigs can be – stood mere metres away, blinded by lights, quaking bass ricocheting through the crowd.

Swigging straight from a bottle of JD, Green performed a handful of hits to the competition winning (and surprisingly eclectic) crowd.  These were taken from both his debut ‘Alive Till I’m Dead’ and last year’s ‘At Your Inconvenience’ (pictured), though it was his earlier hits I Need You Tonight and Just Be Good To Green that drew the biggest cheers.  Bantering with the audience and berating himself for talking too much, he showed there’s a thoroughly nice chap behind the rough image.  The band brought some empowerment to the music, the drums and bass especially providing a thunderous beat.  The backing singers, too, did a commendable job, despite the lack of Emeli Sande for Green’s biggest hit.

The trouble is Green only has a handful of big tracks and, for all his attempts at rawness, he is a pop artist at heart – particularly in his choice of samples like INXS and Lily Allen.  The comparisons with rival Plan B are obvious: whilst Ben Drew is writing authentic riot songs, Green is busy rhyming Pixie Lott with cock.  Certainly Green has written tracks that work in a club environment, as the dancing crowd of this gig proved, but it’s difficult to take him seriously in light of the competition.  It seems if you take the boy out of Hackney you can, in the process, diminish Hackney from the boy.