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.
Rufusprofessor green, rufus, team green
Watch the making of video, featuring some Team Green beer tasting + Pro’s trip to the Signature Brew brewery, here…official beer, professor green, remedy, thatsicklife
Last weekend we took a few hours out of a busy tour schedule to head to rainy Stoke on Trent. There we stopped off at the Titanic Brewery to meet the men making our beer.
Yes, that’s right, we are making Remedy. All those posts on Youtube saying ‘You stupid idiots, it’s a song off his album, this is an April Fool’s joke’ well yes you were right, but in a post-modern-let’s flip the script type way, the joke was on you, because however frivolous it may seem we have decided to make a beer called Remedy. All being well, we will all be drinking it at the beginning of June.
We toured the brewery, supped the brews and Stephen gave the team some final pointers on how his beer should taste, fizz and even smell. It was a proper Del Monte moment, as Lewis, Ged, Simon and myself had spent an arduous three hours designing the beer a fortnight earlier. When it came to the crunch, we weren’t sure the man from DM would like the direction we’d taken… but thankfully after much umming and ah-ing…. everyone was happy.
Thanks to all the guys at Titanic for opening up on a Sunday. Personally I cannot wait to see and taste the final product…
april fools, beer, brewery, remedy
So the next day I awoke to 10 missed calls, a missing comb and a lot of empty beer bottles.
As I lay in bed, running through my body’s damage-control /system-check I realised I was dealing with a hangover out of Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim. If you haven’t read it, you should…. he gets hangovers better than I ever could:
He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not so much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.
Yeah that’s how I felt.
I had an hour to find cameras and catch a train to Leeds. So much for a quiet morning in the laundrette, oh no, instead I was hastily packing a bag of dirty clothes for 10 days on the road. Classy.
I walked into the dressing room in Leeds to see this beauty. Fish Lips aka Charlotte DeCarle. It seems that Puma have made us a load of Team Green tracksuits based on Stephen’s motivational mantra ‘Don’t be SHIT’.
Everyone was on good form, it seemed I hadn’t missed any dramas; a relatively healthy tour with the highlight being the level the band had hit with the shows. A step up from anything done before – their own sound system, desk, lighting, smoke machines, caged lions and a drumkit that levitates into the rafters. Ok, those last two aren’t working yet but the rest is fully functioning. And most importantly we have catering, so we don’t spend any money, we get fat but we’re happy as hell. All those stories you read about Status Quo and Meatloaf getting bloated from all their cocaine tours – it’s bullshit, they had Popcorn catering. Plain and simple.
We’ve also got this badboy on tour. The new tank from Mercedes. Just look how big it is compared to a normal E-Class. I drove it back from Wolverhampton last night and it was comfier than my flat – huge leather seats, cruise control, the works.
Anyway, back to Leeds. A great show deserved a little celebration. When Cores brings out the Baileys you know it’s tequila time. What I mean is – that’s when Cores is going H.A.M.
When I.Q. goes H.A.M. things turn out a little different.
Young love interrupted by the call of nature. Who said romance is dead?
Then onto the bus, into the bunk and asleep as we made our way to Blackpool. My god what a strange city that is.
I woke up feeling like a skinny Ray Winstone.
And before anyone comments on the number of mirror pictures that I put up on here, I’ll say this: Don’t. Touring is a very strange, lonely experience that you can’t understand until you’ve done it. Sometimes you’re in a bathroom, you catch sight of yourself in a mirror and you realise you haven’t had the chance to stop for 24 hours. You’ve been living in everyone else’s pockets, a tiny cog in a big machine, capturing everything in front of your eyes while ignoring everything else going on behind those eyes. When you’re putting on a show for 4 thousand people a night, there isn’t room for fuck ups, or bad days.
And you know what, sometimes even in that moment of solitude you can’t forget why you’re here. A mundane paper roll holder looks back at you and reminds you: DON’T BE SHIT.2012, professor green
On Sunday I came back to London after one of those mini-breaks where everything seems to be going against you, so much so, that eventually you just give in, curl up in a ball and resign yourself that God wants to give you a beating for some reason. Woe is me etc.
So it actually felt pretty great to be back, to see London and this lot who were performing at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust series of gigs….
The Albert Hall is one of England’s greatest venues, there’s just so much history to it that you can’t help beaming with patriotism when you walk through the doors. If you ever get the chance to go, just do it, even if it’s an event that bores you, you sit there and the majesty of the place is enough…
If I remember rightly these flying saucers were installed to help bounce sound back down out of the cavernous eaves…
PG was there to perform alongside Jessie J so it all felt like one big reunion after the Australia tour. Good vibes all round.
Speaking of which there was a bit of unfinished business from Australia regarding a certain prank that Miss JJ had pulled on Stephen. Turns out she’d hired a load of animal suits in Adelaide and so there was a stage invasion of zoo animals during Jungle…
So the long and short of it is that during Do It Like A Dude, possibly Jessie’s biggest tune and the climax of her show, we ran on stage dressed like her, with her wigs as well. A very strange and hopefully very funny end to a great evening, that raised a lot of money for a hugely important cause…
It was your idea buddy….
Anyway I’m sure there’s videos of the ensuing carnage on the internet somewhere but I definitely don’t need to see them.
The things we do for the fandem….. after that we needed a drink to steady the nerves…
Once again, I’m pretty sure this was your idea buddy….
Then we went our separate ways, some went home, some didn’t. I ended up back mine with Q and Lewis drinking the UK’s finest new beer…
The next day we got up early and went straight to the hotel pool. This is undoubtedly the greatest pool I’ve ever had the pleasure of bombing.
Those pink shorts have got me into a lot of trouble on this tour. I’m not sure we can go into the details but suffice to say that out here if you wear pink people assume you like to kiss men. I don’t like to kiss men and I don’t like it when men kiss me. IQ and Felix turned up. I don’t know how this next shot happened, but it did and I think it needs to be enjoyed by a wider public. Also, if I don’t put it up here, IQ will accuse me of favoritism.
The pool cleared out pretty quickly at this point and we had things to do, cameras to repair and cities to see.
We spent the morning trying to find somewhere in Melbourne to fix the camera, but 20 places turned us away; it was starting to become clear that we wouldn’t be seeing any results until we got to Sydney where Canon have their HQ.
That afternoon we got stuck into the promo tour, visiting a couple of local radio stations and getting involved in some pretty awkward interviews.
Then it was across town to soundcheck for one of our sideshows with Jessie J.
And this turned out to be the toughest gig of the tour, with nearly all of the band having trouble with the sound reverberating back at them. Apparently this is called ‘slap back’ and it means they can’t hear themselves properly. That said they managed to hide their frustration and the crowd reaction was one of the best yet so it ended on a high. For once though it wasn’t 7 guys and a girl having a lot of fun, it was hard work instead.
After the show we were told that there was an after party on the 28th floor of our hotel and Fatboy and Skrillex were doing DJ sets. They’d be free booze and food and it’d be great, so we went.
The cities we’ve stayed in have all been very modern, lots of skyscrapers and marble malls. And while this might not look great it does afford some great views.
Now this might look like I’m ending this post with another gratuitous bathroom picture of myself but this image is important because several hours after it was taken I was found in this bathroom, wearing that Tshirt and…. well, nothing else.
We’ll never know what happened exactly (though Stephen is doing his best to solve the puzzle by requesting all CCTV footage from the hotel is handed over to us) but I’ll take a stab at piecing it all together. After our failed trip to the casino, Nick and I were feeling a little out of pocket so when we were offered a night of free food and alcohol we thought we’d get some value for money if you follow my drift. If one night had cost us a fortune, then we were definitely going to make up for it by another one on someone else’s tab. And we won’t be seeing each other for 6 months now, so we weren’t going to bed early. No, we were going H.A.M.
Too many tequilas and it was time to call it a night. I fell fast asleep but I think I then woke in the night and fumbling for my bathroom I stumbled through the first door I found and into the hotel corridor. At this point I realized I had no key and no pants, but instead of opting for the obvious remedy and making said t-shirt into a pair of shorts, I just got in the lift and headed to the concierge to ask for another key.
Now the Australians are notorious for their laid-back attitude but even they have their limits. Ultimately towels were provided, key cards were cut and I got back to bed and fell into another deep sleep. Oh yeah, I woke up a little late and managed to miss our transfer to the airport, so I spent the next day hanging my head in shame and being taunted for the misdemeanors of the night before.
So once again we’d drunk too much and we shouldn’t do that but hey no-one was hurt and we had a lot of fun. This post might suggest I’m proud of what happened but I’m not, however I do know that it’s part of this job that if we let the side down, it’s not going to be covered up, our deeds are to made public on the internet, the modern day stocks, a tarring and feathering to teach us our lesson and mend our ways.
2012, australia, behind the scenes, professor green
Disclaimer: the views expressed here in this blog post are not those of Stephen Manderson or his record label. Before anyone else gets in touch to complain can I just say that this is simply how things looked from where I was standing.
Melbourne got messy. I’m not sure why but I’m blaming old friends, jetlag and Canon. This is the XF105, the baby brother of the 305 that we used to make Professor Green Unseen.
Now these aren’t cheap but we decided we needed one for this trip to Australia. So, despite the fact that Stephen and I have probably spent well over 10 grand on Canon products over the last 3 years, we decided to buy this little puppy for a not-insignificant 3 grand. And then 3 days into this trip it gave up the ghost.
Obviously I’ve brought a spare camera with me and technically it’s not my fault that the camera died, but I’m conscious of the fact that a lot of money has been spent on flying me out here to film TV broadcast quality content and, without this camera, I’m essentially wasting everyone’s time. Thank god for customer care and a good warranty, Canon will appreciate our commitment to their brand, they’ll remember that Stephen told the readers of The Sun that the Canon 5D was essential festival equipment, they’ll take pity on my predicament and impending nervous breakdown; they’ll bring me a new camera to exchange for the 4 day-old, 3 thousand pound camera that doesn’t work.
Or maybe they won’t? Maybe they’ll not reply to tweets, send generic responses to every email and conclude that Canon Australia is a separate entity to Canon UK and my warranty doesn’t cover me abroad. Think ‘canoe’, ‘without paddle’ and a polite ‘fuck’ and ‘off’. So, I won’t bore you further, but I think it’s safe to say that Canon’s international warranty basically translates to ‘hey guys, please buy our cameras but whatever you do don’t you dare contemplate taking them on holiday….’
So back to Melbourne. Night number one was spent catching up with old friends and drowning camera-related sorrows. This is my buddy Nick, Biggest Lew’s partner in BurgerGang related crime.
First stop – a Korean chicken joint that served beer, chicken and cheesy corn. Two out of three aint bad.
Next we headed to a Japanese divebar to drink whiskey and gold-infused Sake.
You had to choose which cup to drink it out of, which is a pretty nice idea, unless it reminds you of the cup scene in Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail.
Happily no-one’s face melted off, I don’t think we won the gift of eternal youth but we did get drunk.
After dinner and drinks we wanted dancing but nowhere was open so we headed back to the hotel for a night-cap. And this is when things went wrong. Whereas back in Blighty a good hotel will keep its bar open all night long, here in Australia they’re shut by 11 o’clock. Now I was loathe to crack open the mini-bar because I’m a bit tight like that, so when the receptionist suggested we could get a beer in the local casino, that seemed like the cheapest, most sensible course of action.
Now I’m no James Bond, but I’ve done a bit of gambling in my time and the rule of thumb seems to be: drinking and gambling equals losing. So that’s what we did. The first half-hour was great fun, we were losing but nothing considerable. Once we were out of chips we decided we’d win our money back by putting all of our cash on red. Two minutes later I was at the cashpoint withdrawing enough money to get on the poker tables and rectify our run of bad luck. By this point it wasn’t fun anymore, I folded my way out of chips while Nick sat there watching our hopes for a pleasant end to the evening die slowly.
I love this picture of Nick because he looks like such a loser.
And that’s what we were: losers, limping home, with that steely glare that says ‘let’s change the subject, get the fuck out of here and never speak of tonight ever again.’
But to add insult to injury they’ve stuck this guy’s face just outside the casino. He’s not a gambler; look – he’s married, happy and so successful he doesn’t even have to wear a tie. I could have cried.
So we wandered home in silence and went to sleep, promising to learn from our mistakes, to get back on the straight and narrow and fall into line for a little while. Oh if only we’d known what was to come…Unfortunately I’m too tired to continue so you’ll have to wait for part two or Friday’s edition of The Sun for that story.
What did we learn? Well, that gambling and drinking are dangerous companions and that ultimately when making large purchases we should always choose a brand we trust, one that we hope values us as much as we value their products. The end.
australia, behind the scenes, Photos
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Australia is a big place. 5 hours later and we’ve arrived in Perth. Thank God for plush hotels because the jet lag isn’t abating. I’ve never before appreciated how bad it can get; I feel lost, muffled, disorientated by waves of tiredness that just won’t go away. I’ve tried everything, drowning it under the waves, running it out, sleeping it off, killing it with booze, but still we’re a week in and it’s here to stay.
Future Music Perth was a little different to Brisbane. Less rain, more shirts and an altogether bigger and wilder crowd. Felix and IQ got things started with a short and sharp warm up set and by D.P.M.O. the crowd were showing their appreciation by showering Green with beer. When you consider the heat and the queue for the bar I guess this is a real sign of affection.
Post-gig mingle with the fandem.
I’m loving the VB. I’m sure it’s what Mick drank in Crocodile Dundee or maybe it was Alf in Home and Away. Either way it’s better than it looks. Not a bad Italian meal ruined by a Spanish guitarist who insisted on raping such classics as Stand By Me.
I can’t say I’m feeling Perth. It’s got even less charm than Brisbane. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clean and safe and the people have been as friendly as anywhere in the world, but everything’s so new, the architecture so haphazard and thrown together, that it all feels rushed and put together without any heart. And before the local tourist board complains (as they did when I suggested Brisbane had too many muscles) can I just say this is the experience of one jet-lagged man who has only seen a shade of what Australia has to offer. This country undoubtedly has some of the world’s most impressive nature, the people seem kind and welcoming, I think maybe I just don’t like their buildings and how they build their cities.
Later that night, a few of us went to the Festival after party at some bar called Space. We headed down with Skrillex and the guys from Flux Pavillion who played upstairs. It seemed to be on some impromtu tip because the crowd went proper spare. Personally I think people waste way too much time discussing dubstep and the pros & cons of Skrillex. A super-friendly guy who played some nasty songs that made everyone pull stupid faces and bang their heads… what more do you need?
Twenty minutes later I found Felix cornered by 6 or 7 young locals. I don’t know how to put this, but they definitely thought Felix was someone else, I don’t know who, but I do know that Felix was too much of a gentleman to shatter their illusions. Our Felix is a gentleman like that: not one to burst the dreams of young, impressionable fans.
You know that moment when you think ‘I’m balling, I’m balling… oh shit I’m really not balling…’ That’s how I felt when I realized I was drinking a bottle of Smirnoff Ice that someone had kindly put their cigarette out in.
That was pretty much time to call it a night. There was a jazz club somewhere down the road that was doing a live tribute to Whitney Houston, I was down but no-one else was…. So we wandered home and that was that, another great day, too much sun and too much booze, but hey, when in Rome….
Rufus2012, australia, behind the scenes, Photos, professor green
Yesterday was day one of the Future Music Festival. To be fair, things were stacked against us, the line-up had been changed at the last minute so there was some timing confusion and then the skies opened and we saw our first barrage of Aussie rain. Apparently it rains every year without fail on FMF day and the locals didn’t seem fazed. They turned up, loved-up and shirtless, with spiky hair and way too much muscle; think Jersey Shore take on Bestival….
The crowd response was manic; the Aussies seem to love the aggression of songs like D.P.M.O, the INXS riff on I Need You Tonight is obviously a national favorite and with Read All About It climbing the charts over here, the set closes with fans singing along which is standard in the UK but a little surreal over here. Nothing like a good gig to raise spirits and numb the jetlag.
Pro caught up with Travie from Gym Class Heroes, these guys toured together 3 or 4 years ago….
Watching their set from side of stage.
Shouts out to Burger Gang.
Then off for a bit of promo. High spirits makes life hard for interviewers. At one point it looked like Stephen and Jessie J were going to do their promo together but then common sense prevailed. I think I heard Stephen say ‘I’m joking…’ five times to a visibly shocked interviewer while her researcher took about 5 minutes to recover from the joke that got played on her when she walked on set.
The last interview of the day ended with a race round the corridors on Beer cooler bikes. Only in Australia would someone think of taking a beer cooler and turning it into a very dangerous and awkward moped. I guess drink driving isn’t a big deal over here.
Meanwhile IQ was doing his thing.
This is ‘old-school’ Pat, our sound engineer. He’s the guy that sits at the big desk opposite the stage and cranks up the volume. I have no idea what he does exactly but I’d hazard a guess that he mixes all the different sound channels together and then pumps out the purest sound he can. Either way, he’s pretty damn important.
Q wanted me to use these pictures because they show he’s ‘international n shit….’
Here he is taking a wet wipe shower next to tour manager Trigger.
After an afternoon of drinking it was time to head to Perth. Another long flight, another time change, further body clock confusion just as you’re reaching some kind of equilibrium. The strain is showing, it’s like any trip, the first several days are new and exciting but come day four it’s taken its toll. We haven’t even been partying that hard, I guess it’s just the power of jetlag.
Felix is pioneering a new look: the Brian Harvey snapback x JLS neckline combo. The ladies love it.
Next stop Perth.
2012, australia, jessie j, Photos
G’day mate and welcome to Brisbane. It’s Australia and it’s pretty much what you expect; it’s big, it’s hot, the people are friendly and they drive utes. Like most places in Australia it’s not steeped in history so there’s not much you need to know about Brisbane except it’s about 150 years old and it was named after a Scotsman called Sir Thomas Brisbane who pretty much ran tings back in the day.
We’re staying in the financial district which looks very much like any other corporate metropolis, the roads are laid out on a US grid system and there’s skyscrapers everywhere so it looks and feels like a less gritty version of New York. It’s a British colony that takes it’s lead from the US in many of its ways; as IQ put it “if the UK and the US had sex and got pregnant, this is what their baby would look like”. From out of the mouth of babes…
We’ve just landed after 24 hours in the air so our body clocks have gone awry, it’s 8am here and we’ve all had ample sleep but our brains are telling us it’s time for bed. We’re staying in a sweet hotel and today’s a day off so it’s an opportunity to acclimatise, relax but not sleep, bully the body and brain into working 12 hours ahead.
We’ve wandered around, bought some food, enjoyed the sun and done some shopping.
You see what I mean about it looking like New York? The blond goon in the middle who could be a hitman from the Bronx called Billy Bullits or something? Yeah, that’s Green.
For me, the most exciting thing about being in Australia aside from the gigs, work, friends, booze, sun, money, power and late nights, is definitely the wildlife. Even in downtown Brisbane you see weird shit like this here Oris. And if you go to a proper park then you see things like this just sat there enjoying the sun.
Everything has been a bit of a blur since we’ve arrived. I tried to get some culture and headed to the modern art museum but it was full of school parties.
These were aboriginal carved dogs, kind of like totems I guess. I couldn’t help hoping they’d come alive in some Jumanji type way and attack the school children.
Alas that didn’t happen. Brisbane, your modern art gallery sucks and it’s full of children. Hardly exciting stuff I know, but sometimes you need some calm before you bring the storm. Speaking of which, our first gig was in this beautiful outdoor arena and, despite a couple of tech issues, it went down pretty well. RAAI is climbing up the charts here and it was crazy to see an Aussie audience singing along.
I’m late for my hotel check out so I best round this up. Here are some miscellaneous pictures from the gig, I’ll try to write more in Perth to make up for this shoddy post.
That’s Q’s finger, I think he’s saying Fuck You to jetlag or the fact that those tequilas he just bought cost 18 dollars each.
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