The brand new Professor Green x Puma range is coming…
To celebrate the upcoming launch, Pro and PUMA have teamed up with Shazam to offer you the chance to win a selection of the very latest gear – with one lucky winner to be selected every day until Wednesday 19th June.
For the chance to win just tag new single ‘Are You Getting Enough’ on Shazam then enter your details on the results page – see the full details on how to enter here –> http://po.st/PGPumacomp. Good luck!
Thursday last was quite a day. We started off with the not-so-small task of shooting the video for Avalon. This was to be Pro’s first full-performance video so no crazy props or costume changes, just one awesome location and the band playing the song over and over again. From 10am till 8pm.
The location is an old mental asylum that’s fallen into disrepair. Add some smoke, natural light flooding through stainless glass and a few spots and it was looking pretty special. Personally I would have ordered a few white doves to come up from behind the drums but hey it’s not my gig.
One of the opening shots is of Stephen entering the asylum / performance space. Now these jeans he’s wearing are rather good. They’re made by Edwin, a company that recently invited us to throw a Burger Gang party in their Shoreditch store. Rather unluckily, the dates in the diary suddenly clashed so we had the Avalon shoot going on late and the Burger Gang party starting early. I left the Avalon at a rather early 5pm, things were looking on schedule, no dramas so far.
Over on Charlotte Road, EC2, Lewis and the good people from Edwin were putting the final touches to the shop. Pretty simple really, free cocktails courtesy of Hoxton Gin free Remedy beer ON TAP!
Mini cheese burgers from Red Dog Saloon, home of all things B.G.O.D. We also had a sick DJ, I probably should find out what his name was…
Frig, what was it? Tip of my tongue…. tee-hee, of course it was none other than The Last Skeptik – if you’re not up on his beats then check him out – the man’s a machine and has kindly lent us tunes for the last two Puma x PG videos we’ve done. Go find.
We made a small shrine to Aussie Nick, the burper from Burger Gang Episode Two. Then we opened the doors and the shop went from this….
Thankfully we had a good doorman because it was a road block by 9. But then when you have the world’s best flyer and free beer that’s bound to happen.
Next up was the hot wing challenge. Lewis has done this so many times now (firstly on Burger Gang Ep2, then for ITV’s new TV show All You Can Eat and finally head to head against Gino Di’Acampo on Let’s Do Lunch) that it seemed like another member’s turn to step up. Di’Acampo backed out in front of a live audience egging him on. But I’m not as lily-livered. Or I’m just stupid. Either way I was up against 4 others including Toby from O Children – the only guy I know who is taller than Lewis, and a wrestler called Barbell Bateman who gets into arguments at his local curry house because they don’t do curry hot enough. Tough competition.
Now for the science bit. To clarify the heat we’re talking about let’s refer to the barometer of capsaicinoids commonly known as the Scoville Scale. A bell pepper has zero Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) whereas Habaneros, a fairly punchy pepper, come in at 400,000 SHUs. The naga chili sauce that we were eating on our hot wings comes in at a blinding 1.4 million SHUs. And blinding it was; law enforcement grade pepper spray comes in at 1.5 to 2 million SHUs. Thankfully I didn’t know that last fact at the time. But it certainly explains this.
We weren’t given gloves this time, so even after washing my hands twice I still managed to put the oil residue into my face as I tried to wash away the snot, tears, sweat and lava sauce. Hence the red blotches. Take my word for it: it hurt like fuck.
This guy won and I came last I think. Actually no, Toby from O Children had to run from the shop and puke under some scaffolding. He then went home and was not in anyway happy, so he lost.
The challenge is to eat all six wings and then sit out ‘the burn’ for five minutes – no liquids, no movement, just a whole heap of weird things going on in your body as it says ‘what the fuck are you doing to me?!?’ and starts shooting endorphins all over the place like some bodily fire extinguisher filled with morphine. And there is a high. But it’s definitely not worth it. It’s just your body going ‘Oh wow, I didn’t actually die… whoop whoop…’
Now Greeners told me that he didn’t enjoy the spectacle but this photo clearly says otherwise. It’s a strange thing to do and it’s a strange thing to watch, but I think the British like such things, and, in my endorphin x Remedy fug, I remember a hell a lot of shouting and an equal amount of laughter.
The next day I didn’t make it anywhere near the office but Joakim, our editor took a look at some footage and made this little taster that pretty much so sums it up…
This is not a complaint, I’m just stating a fact; when you work in the entertainment industry the concept of ‘weekend’ becomes rather skewed. It’s no longer 3 nights of rest and recuperation, in fact Friday night often starts with ‘Right, time to go to work…’. And while we may, at times, consume similar amounts of alcohol to those who are not at work, that doesn’t mean we’re letting off steam. Generally it’s not a problem, but from time to time an itinerary pops into the inbox that makes you want to hide on the sofa and drown your sorrows and your phone in a glass of whiskey.
Last weekend was one of these. We started off with the Isle of Wight festival. Thankfully the mud deluge had abated by Saturday afternoon. We arrived to a relatively calm island – no traffic jams, a bit of mud but nothing too serious. PG headlined the biggest tent, playing to one of the biggest, most responsive festival crowds I’ve seen. A bit of voice strain for him, too much JD for Keyboard Carl, but nothing anyone hadn’t seen before. So around midnight we set off for London, a bit of sleep and the Radio One Hackney Weekend. And that’s when things took a turn for the worse.
We arrived at the ferry in torrential rain and discovered we were two hours early. Now trust me, there’s not a whole lot to do on the Isle of Man in the early hours of the morning. So we sat in the car, listened to the rain and those who weren’t in the kiddy seats did their best to sleep.
Onto the ferry. Cue DJ IQ suddenly being the life and soul of the party while everyone else is fading fast. Off the ferry and it’s 3 hours back to London. Check into a beautiful hotel at 5am, sleep on the sofa of someone’s room. Get up and out by 10am. Off to Hackney for the Radio One weekend. First slot on the main stage. Gig done. Off-stage… and then Stephen says ‘You’re coming to Spain….’ ‘O…..K…..’ Now at this point I was planning a night that was rather more ’2 pints at the football, bottle of red wine and a pizza’ while Green was suggesting ‘get to Spain for a 3am club gig in Magaluf’. I can’t lie, I’ve been to Magaluf and I didn’t like it. Now if you’re 18 and from a small town then the idea of going to a place that seems like one massive Spanish-themed bar populated by youngsters who give the cast of Geordie Shore a run for their money in the ‘let’s get mortal’ stakes, may well appeal. But for me, it’s just a shit hole with a load of bollocks bars.
That said, if anyone ever offers you a free flight anywhere and you decline then you’re a douchebag in my books. Central line home, shower, shave, swap the leather trousers for something more Eurotrash, find passport, don’t pack bag (we’re only there for 18 hours). Central line, Liverpool Street, Stansted, make the plane, find seat, try to make polite small talk with neighbour.
Neighbour is some grumpy dude. It seems he was partying on a ferry the night before and is all out of the milk of human kindness.
We landed in Mallorca around 11pm. Now I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Spain in the last few years and I can’t help thinking this is why they’ve gone bust:
Everything’s so damn well made, so expensive, but there’s just no-one there.
You know one of those ones when you’re so tired that everything just seems funny.
You should be crying but you just start laughing at the ridiculousness of your life.
We all retired to our rooms – not enough time for a sleep but too long to sit in the bar. I read a couple of chapters of Bond and took his advice: a cold shower and then order some alcohol.
When Green emerged I could see that he’d chosen sleep over booze but he too, was in a sleep-deprived state of I couldn’t give a fuck. I remember asking him what was going on with the haircut and his reply “I don’t give a fuck, that’s what’s going on with my haircut.”
What was good about this gig was there was none of the usual waiting around. He got out of bed at quarter to, we walked down to the club, through the back door and straight onto stage. And then shit got buck wild.
I’ve seen it before and you know what, when Stephen doesn’t give a fuck, you get some of his best performances. I won’t go into too much detail because I want to edit the footage into something good but people got sucked into the crowd, members of the public got Jack Daniels in places they didn’t want it, explosions went off that no-one knew about, and for once we all got to see Trevor do something other than stand around looking hard. Magaluf went mortal.
IQ at work. No that’s not a mic in his hand. That’s a whiskey and coke.
Now I wouldn’t want to say that it was one of the best gigs that BCM have had this year but that’s what one of their senior employees said.
Gig done. 4am. To bed or not to bed, that is the question. I flopped and went for the former option – the pull of the pool and a day of sun after a month of English rain won out over free booze and flying back to England feeling like an emotional leper. And boy was that the right choice because 5 hours of sleep later some of us were sat here.
This is pretty much all I did all day:
Well a bit of lunch also. Not bad for a Monday. It beats doing spreadsheets. But that’s my point – Monday is often our Sunday. If we’ve been working all weekend on 4 hours sleep a night then I’m not going to feel Catholic guilt for taking time off on Monday for R&R&Rosé.
Magaluf… aah, what a strange place. Peep this picture. Now don’t look at Felix or his Puma garms… check the lady over his left shoulder. Yup, it’s 2pm on Monday in a fairly swanky restaurant, women are doing lunch, children are behaving themselves at the table when out of nowhere two strippers turn up and stand on podiums by the pool and go all MC Hammers Pumps In a Bump all up in this place.
Strange place. 7pm, time to fly home. And for once I wasn’t getting on the plane feeling like I’d been brain raped by a small Spanish island. The same couldn’t be said for everyone but hey, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.
Settled into a bit more of this….
Only to be disturbed by this little monkey…
Wait, wrong picture… this little monkey…
Aaaah, yes I know, weak joke, and that’s all it is. I’ve got to say, for once, the flights were some of the best parts of the weekend. Luke, Pat, Felix and I put the world to rights. And we laughed a lot.
This means trouble.
So high five to a weekend that got progressively better. It started off muddy, cold and uncomfortable and ended with some peace and quiet, sunshine, swimming and a reminder that, when this job is good, it’s the fucking best job in the world, or should I say the best job I’ve ever done – and I’ve managed wrestlers and filled graves and they were both pretty awesome. Peace.
For some of us, the weekend’s festivities kicked off a little too early. Thursday night and we were off to the East End for the very first tasting of Remedy. A select group of journos and beer aficionados turned up to sample this badboy. What started off as an April Fool’s joke, filmed in my living room, had gone from this:
To a fully functioning alcoholic beverage that looks like this:
To say it was a proud moment for all of us was an understatement. A lot of fun, a lot of hard work and hopefully something we’ll all be able to enjoy for a long time to come. Now’s probably the time to explain that Remedy won’t be to everyone’s taste; as we always said we weren’t looking to make another insipid lager, if you like your beer to be easy and favour quantity over quality then Remedy might not to be your taste. I’d call it a pale ale, it’s got a bit of bite to it but that’s the point: it ain’t no Hofmeister.
The usual characters were there and a fair few bottles were gone by 9pm. Then it was time for us all to go our separate ways. I went to the Henry Holland Superga launch in Camden but there’s nothing to add about that except that I bumped into this little lady…
Look how happy she is to see me. After a few sickly sweet cocktails (ah the things we do for free booze) it was time to squash into a Fiesta and hot foot it to Park Lane where things took a decidedly more chi-chi turn. The Playboy Club was celebrating its first Birthday and had accordingly invited all of London’s premier playboys, hence my presence was required.
Ok, Green was asked to do a live show and so I surfed through the doors on his coat-tails. Now we’ve been talking about going to this place for a long time now and I must say I’ve heard mixed reports. It’s got Bunny girls and every red blooded man wants to get with a rabbit. Whether it be Jessica Rabbit, the Cadbury’s Caramel minx or just Bright Eyes from Watership Down, there’s just something ok about suggesting bestial relations with a bunny: Hugh Hefner knew what he was doing.
This was ours, and a lovely lady she was. Her first words to me were one of the most wonderful snubs of my life and I’ve endured a few:
Bunny: Excuse me sir, are you sure you’re meant to be sitting here?
Me: Er, yes I think so, I’m here to drink Professor Green’s rider.
Bunny: Ah, wonderful, well then your table is just here, this table is reserved for Guns n Roses.
Alas Axel and his ridiculous new face didn’t appear but I lived in hope for several hours. The show was a blinder, no word of a lie. Unfortunately I didn’t get any usable shots because the lights were crazy and I was on stealth cam which just can’t handle such things.
But you can tell how it went from Green’s face as he came off stage….
After that we got down to what the Playboy Club does best: cocktails and bunny girls.
Now as the pictures might suggest, the Playboy Club is a more raucous affair than you might be led to believe. Amongst all the dancing and debauchery there is a relatively sedate bar named Salvatore, named after Mr. Calabrese Senior, who is renowned as one of the world’s great cocktail makers. Now seasoned regulars at the Hoxton Pony will have come across the famous Calabrese hospitality in the shape of his son Jon. When you meet Salvatore, you see where it comes from: like father like son.
The drink Stephen is holding was a gift from Salvatore also pictured above. It is an Old Fashioned, one of my favourite whiskey drinks, one that I’ve enjoyed with Stephen many a time. Yet this one is a little different. It is made with a rye whiskey from the year that the drink was supposedly invented – 1913. So effectively, it’s a 100 year old drink. Now I’m not one for the ‘world’s most expensive burger’ or 1000 pound bottles of champagne but this is one extravagant idea that I can’t help liking a lot. Not £600 a lot, but a lot nonetheless.
A very proud looking Calabrese Junior. Thanks Jon for all your hospitality and your continuing ability to turn a blind eye to my drunken exploits.
After such a gift, it all got a bit emotional and high-spirited. We danced, we drank, we laughed a lot. I’m not sure the Playboy Club is a place to meet your life partner but the drinks are unbeatable and the people watching is second-to-none.
And one more gratuitous Bunny picture. Now that’s it, I’m thirsty, time for a drink.
Tune into BBC Radio 1 Friday morning to hear Pro in the Live Lounge at Hackney Academy. He’ll be chatting to Fearne as well as performing too. If you you miss it check in the with the BBC iPlayer soon after to listen again.
I’ve just got back from five days in the south of Spain, sipping gin, eating ham and most of all riding dirt bikes through the mountains. Five of the best days of my life; I can’t explain how great these bikes are…. it’s like learning to tap dance while riding a horse, a bit like snowboarding but 10 times more fun. One of the few sports that’s way more fun going uphill. It’s tough as hell but if you like bikes you need to try this.
These things are indestructible, what they can do is just mind blowing, they’ll get up anything, just so long as you can hang on them. I flipped mine twice on the penultimate day but unfortunately my camera had run dry by then. I filmed this whole thing on a Go-Pro and the new Olympus Tough camera which is a pocket camera you can drop onto concrete from 2metres and film full HD while 10metres underwater. It’s awesome. The only problem with it is if you’ve had a few drinks you find yourself trying to test its capabilities in the stupidest of places.
I spent five days riding with the guys from Dust Devils. If you’re near Marbella or Porto Banus and you fancy a day’s riding I couldn’t rate these guys highly enough; brand new bikes and they know their stuff and will suit every day to your wishes and abilities. I couldn’t fault them. Well, actually having lunch with them was like breaking bread with Cannon & Ball, shite jokes galore but aside from that it was superb start to finish. Great guys. Anyhow, to Paul, Peter, James, my body armour and my buddy Tim for carrying my bags home because I bust my back, thank you very much, I hope to see you all soon…..
Oranges straight from the tree.
My friend Tim. He’s like my drug dealer. A free CBT here, an introduction to a Harley toting woman, now I’m a fully fledged junkie.
I read a lot of James Bond and drank a lot of gin. Bond has a great theory on what you can and can’t drink when and where. No G&Ts in Parisian cafes, only an Americano will do because the French don’t do spirit and mixers properly. The Spaniards on the other hand know what they’re doing. Half and half, lots of ice and no mixer from a gun out here.
And with a good crianza at only 2 Euros a glass, let’s all hope that the Euro keeps tanking and then that way an extra bottle or two is our way of helping those poor Spaniards get back on track.
Honda Goldwings are massive but I’m huge so they look tiny under me.
So, go – make the most of the Euro taking a kicking; cheap holidays, cheap wine and the maddest, baddest biking you’ll ever do. Trust.