Debuting at number 3 in the iTunes R&B chart and number 34 overall isn’t a bad way to start the day, but a live set in your home town to launch your new EP must also be a great way to end it. The weather may have cooled down outside but Rob’s energetic stage presence, following Mark Elliott’s impressive keyboard and vocal set certainly warmed up Rough Trade.
Elliott may put on a simple show, but it’s certainly far from boring. His songs not only have meaning behind them, giving them all that extra level of emotion, but his fast finger action on the keyboard give his music a real depth. His voice was wonderfully smooth with a perfect mix of softness, power and raspiness. Although he accidentally deleted his set list (an advert for keeping your set lists on paper maybe?), he didn’t at all seem unprepared or unsure of what musical treasure to treat the audience to next. He may have been acting as a warm up for Green, but he could easily headline his own show, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out he gained many new fans from that set.
It was clear as soon as Rob made people aware that he would shortly be on stage just how many fans he really has. Squeezing as many of them as possible into a fairly small Rough Trade bar on a Friday night only added to the atmosphere. The anticipation for Rob to grace the stage grew by the minute, and by the time everyone had bought their drinks and made their way to the stage area, it was already getting sweaty.
As Rob popped on his guitar, corrected his mic positions for the final time, and straightened his shirt, the crowd was well and truly pumped. His set was made up of a mix of older songs (including one requested by a young lady in a very pretty dress which Rob just couldn’t say no to), new songs his latest EP, and even a few covers for people to join in with at the end.
The way he tells the stories behind his music, whether before the song, after, or even sometimes during, is such a unique and open approach. He makes you feel as though you know him personally and brings you into his world so that you can relate to and connect with his music. Emotions even got a little too much for the musician himself as he performed Blue, one of his newest tracks which was clearly very meaningful to him. However, this showed a wonderful vulnerability to the artist that can be missed from many new up and coming musicians. His strong voice, that can reach any high or low notes a song asks of him, is so infectious, you feel a little disappointed when he has to stop singing in between each track. However, the fun energy he brings to the stage is something that’s missed from younger artists at times, and his smile can light up a bar in a way that keeps every audience members eyes glued to him.
The night was not only full of pure talent, but also some humour, emotional moments, and mostly a great sense of fun. With BBC Introducing picking up Rob Green, you might want to try and catch him live while you can because it won’t be long before he’s touring around the world.
Rob Green EP Launch took place at Rough Trade Nottingham on Friday 13 May 2016.