Professor Green @ Friends & Family 15-07-2006


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Cargo was busy but nowhere near full for one of Professor Green's first headline gigs since signing to Mike Skinner's The Beats label.

Pro's talents as a battle rapper and on mixtape tracks are well Proven, (winning the Jump-Off battles seven events in a row, twice, and his Lecture Number One CD being one of the hottest underground releases around) but how would his talent work on a live stage?

To be fair to Pro, (and backing MC C.O.R.E.), the sound system wasn't upto the job. Bass heavy and rumbling, but badly distorting his sharp, funny, reality tinged flows. The curse of many hiphop gigs, and the most disappointing thing about this one.

If you've heard the Mixtape and knew the tracks, it helped, but much of it went over the heads of the casual Saturday night casual party crowd.

Pro sprinted through 11 tracks, including most of the bouncier Mixtape cuts. He delivered alternate verses to 'Before I Die' and after the beat finished continued rolling off other alternate verses.

An acappella he delivered fell largely flat, again because of the ill-tuned sound system.

Pro seemed happy enough though, and bounced around and worked the crowd. His delivery was good, he seemed very comfortable, (not to say unchallenged), delivering written verses when he can freestyle so effortlessly.

One track that worked on the sound system was 'Hard Night Out' a Drum and Bass 2-stepper produced by Roni Size, that will be on the album which is due in January 07. A long time to wait, but exciting promising material.

The bass heavy Lick Shots (over the Dead Prez 'Bigger Than Hiphop' beat) also worked better than most, (with plenty of crowd call-and-response interaction), as did the last track 'Upper Clapton Dance' with Chynaman joining the show, upping the energy levels and leaving the set on a high.

The set was just over the half hour, not long enough. He's got the material and skills, and it would have been nice to hear more variety as much of this set was the Mixtape word-for-word.

So yeah, he was good, but a better soundsystem, a longer more involved set, and maybe a more dedicated hiphop club crowd would have helped.

Those who believe he's the next major UK Hiphop sensation would have left contented, safe in the knowledge he's got bigger and better gigs ahead of him.

Pro's still in the grind, and was happy mingling in the crowd selling copies of his Mixtape CD after finishing his set.

Review and photos - JSA One
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