REVIEW: Professor Green at Illusions, Holmeside, Sunderland

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PROFESSOR Green’s appearance in Sunderland was no illusion.

The rap star gave a stellar performance in the city on Saturday night for a select group of excited fans.

Pro Green at Illusions

Pro Green at Illusions

Due to release his new album Growing Up in Public this year, Pro Green rocked newly relaunched Holmeside night club Illusions (formerly Passion) at its official opening.

The rapper, whose real name is Stephen Manderson, belted out hits including Read All About it, which he recorded with Sunderland born pop star Emile Sandé, and previous chart hits Monster and Jungle.

His set was short and sweet – about half-an-hour long – but there was no doubt that he absolutely smashed it.

Audience members pressed up against the stage to absorb every second of the star’s slick performance as they sang, or, attempted to rap, along.

While the rapper, who recently married Made in Chelsea reality TV star Millie Mackintosh, paid homage to his Quality Street heiress wife, with the slightly comical unreleased song Dead Man Walking, which he labelled the closest thing to a love song he’ll write.

He also reminded fans that despite his new affiliation to the upmarket world of Chelsea, he wants to keep his rougher Hackney roots, which was met with appreciative laughs and cheers.

In spite of his bad boy rapper image, Pro Green’s on-stage presence had a charm that appeals to the girls and the boys, and got everyone on their feet.

And there’s no doubt that the audience, which was small enough to give everyone room to dance, but still create an electric atmosphere, loved it.

Illusions, which has reopened under the new name after having a fancy facelift did justice to Pro Green’s heavy base with it’s sound system.

Unlike some venues with crackly speakers, every beat and word, including appreciation from the musician at the audience’s response to his performance, could be heard.

Having an intimate venue with the ability to draw in big-name acts can only be a good thing for Sunderland.

Professor Green left the stage, flanked by security, to cheers, and disappointment that his fleeting appearance was over so soon.

It’s almost as if it was an illusion...

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull