Hackney rapper Professor Green kicked off his university tour in style on Monday 26th of January, with a large supporting cast, at SUSU’s Garden Hall.
The night got going relatively early, with Air Force records taking to the stage at 7:40, offering 3 songs of standard UK rap. Eastleigh rapper Realness followed with just one song, sampling “The Way It Is” as a beat to drop bars over. Cam Bloomfield was the last of the unadvertised acts, displaying his acoustic act not too dissimilar to Ed Sheeran’s style of singing/rapping.
Manchester trio PROSE followed with their up-and-coming rock-rap. Fronted by Mike Murray, who could most easily be described as being like Plan B, the band brought an energy to the venue that hadn’t been established beforehand. Whilst many were solely at the event for the Professor, PROSE got the crowd involved in everything, and were genuinely thankful of all the support. The highlight was their most recent single “Run With Faith”, which has earned Radio 1 airplay. Characterised by a soulful chorus sung by the bassist, the song was slowly built up throughout the chorus beneath Murray’s lyrics before being hit by the electric guitar which really got the crowd going. These guys really are one for the future.
Mikill Pane took to the stage and immediately built up a rapport with the crowd, introducing himself and holding a short open conversation. Having got the crowd going with a selction of acapella rapped stories and hits from latest album “Blame Miss Barclay” the crowd were perfectly set up for student life based “Good Feeling”, however there was one problem. Pane couldn’t remember the words beyond the first verse, so called upon the crowd to ask if anybody else did. Two confident lucky punters joined Pane on stage and, after a selection of selfies, could only manage to get just as far as the man himself. The audience laughed it off along with Pane, as he kindly apologised and moved on. The crowd favourite though had to be “Little Lady”, certainly his most famous song due to it’s use of Ed Sheeran’s “The A-Team”. The lyrics really hit home hard in such a small venue, especially for the final verse which Mikill insisted on finishing acapella. Rather ironically the set ended with “The Return of Mr Pane”, before thanking the audience and handing over to the headline act.
Green entered bang on time for the beginning of his verse of his latest hit “Lullaby”, grinning from cheek to cheek as he strutted on to the stage to the sound of shrieking female admirers. At the close of the song, Green made a tongue in cheek complaint about the excessive use of the smoke machine, and how it was making it feel like his bedroom as an adolescent. After telling the crowd how much he was enjoying the “school disco vibe” the all too familiar “I Need You Tonight” hook came in, with the crowd joining in word for word in an instant, myself included! Following up with “Just Be Good to Green”, the Professor took a moment afterward to apologise for possibly pointing at guys when singing some of his more suggestive lyrics, which drew laughs from all around the intimate venue.
Having raised the energy-levels with the largely electronic “Remedy”, Green dropped massive hit “Jungle” at the perfect time. The audience were screaming as soon as they heard the stringed intro dropped by his DJ, with everyone descending into a filthy skank as the dub-step backed chorus hit. Intertwining hits from his most recent album with other hits such as “Monster”, Green aptly chose to finish with UK number 1 “Read All About It”. But not until he thanked everyone for coming out, seeming genuinely appreciative and still with that cheek to cheek smile that had lasted from start to finish.