With a 2010 Mobo award, gold selling album (Alive Till I'm Dead) and two UK top five
hits tucked neatly in his backpocket Hackney's Professor Green and his crew rolled
into Inverness on Saturday night (5 Feb 2011).
The Ironworks crowd were at fever pitch after having waited over a month to see the
London-based rapper. His previously scheduled appearance there in December was cancelled
due to snow.
On that note Green joked with the sell-out crowd half way through his set. He halted
his performance to offer an apology to his fans, telling them to shout "green your
a p***k," for his no show last time around, a request the packed venue dutifully
Green's collaborator on his top five hit I Need You Tonight, Ed Drewett, did an admirable
job of warming up the Ironworks crowd with a bouncy, energetic set which included
a note perfect cover of The Wanted's hit, All Time Low.
With the predominantly teenaged crowd now salivating at the prospect of their idol
stepping onto the stage, Green's DJ kicked the evening off with a short medley of
hip hop hits, including a cleverly mixed version of the anthemic Kanye West hit Gold
It was then time for the band to take to the stage and they introduced the man himself
to rapturous applause. The 6ft 3” rapper ambled onto the stage to the strains of
Don't Let Go, which melted seamlessly into a raucous version of Hard Night Out. The
bass on these tracks pushed the sound system to its limits. It was so heavy at this
point you could feel it reverberating through your entire body.
The Professor then took the crowd on a tour of the grimey night time streets of
London with a booming rendition of City of Gold. It was then time for the crowd to
throw their hand ups for Oh My God, which was perfectly delivered by an MC on top
of his game.
The unfair comparisons to Eminem will always exist, given the obvious fact that Green
is a white rapper, but he offers something refreshingly different to the American
megastar. There is a touching honesty in Green's music, combined with a wry sense
of humour, which was sadly lacking from Slim Shady's Recovery and Relapse/Refill
Pro Green is fresh, vibrant and everything we should be excited about in a British
artist and his collaborations with Ed Drewett, Labrinth, Fink and Lily Allen simply
serve to underline the eclectic nature of his work. The only disappointment tonight,
and it's a minor criticism on an otherwise sensational show, was Green's decision
not to play two of his most entertaining tracks from his early catalogue, Stereotypical
Man and When You Wasn't Famous. But hey you can't have everything.
Oh My God was followed by a brilliant version of The Kids Who Love to Dance, the
opening track from his 2010 album Alive Till I'm Dead.
Lily Allen might not have been on stage to knock out the backing vocals on his next
track, the top 5 hit Just Be Good To Green, but his backing singer definitely did
the song justice, with a note perfect performance.
Green then treated the crowd to a brand new track taken from his new album, which
he has taken a break from recording to go on this mini tour of the UK. In The Air
appeared to be heavily influenced by the sounds of 90's Ibiza, throwing up shades
of Paul van Dyk's For An Angel and Cafe Del Mar during the chorus.
Ed Drewett was then ushered back onto the stage for a banging version of Green's
biggest hit to date, the INXS inspired I Need You Tonight, which was greeted with
Before entering into a little crowd participation by splitting the room in two for
a mass singalong the rapper was forced to stop his set and tell two lads at the front
that he wouldn't play on if they continued to fight during his show, a statement
which resulted in howls of derision being aimed at the mindless duo. Needless to
say they soon patched up their differences.
Just prior to the encore the Ironworks got another preview of material from Green's
forthcoming new album, the insanely catchy Read All About It.
After leaving the stage briefly Green re-emerged to belt out the awesomely dark album
track, Jungle, followed by a hugely popular cover of Travie McCoy's number one hit
Billionaire, a track Green recently covered for Radio 1's Live Lounge. You would
be hard pressed to notice the difference between the two versions, such was the polished
nature of Green and his band's delivery.
And to close a stunning performance the 27-year-old MC sent the crowd home with their
ears ringing and their hearts still pounding from the devilish bass laid down on
Green's top 30 hit Monster.
As the crowds filtered out of the venue the talk was all about hope that Professor
Green would make his return to the Highlands sooner rather than later, possibly even
in June when the Rockness music festival returns to the banks of Loch Ness.