Gig Review: Plan B @ The Colston Hall
by Georgia Gillespie
Plan B | Atlantic Records | Via Entertainment Focus
Walking towards the doors, I could already feel the drum beat. My heart started pacing in time. A young girl ran in ahead of her parents and ran back out again, “it’s too loud!” she told them. This was when I knew we were in for a thrilling evening. The room was packed with eager faces waiting to see the man of the hour, faces that were all different ages. Although parts of the performance were explicit, that was just the nature of the music. The F bomb was thrown around quite a bit, leading to a lot of parents covering their child’s small ears.
Supporting Plan B was East London singer Hak Baker. Accompanied with his band of merry men, he supplied a mix of reggae and hip-hop music, questionable dance moves and cockney banter. I have never seen a support act interact so much with a crowd and be received so well. The singer-songwriter told us his tales of growing up, what he’d do if he was a gazillionaire and being a self-proclaimed misfit. He had our heads bobbing, hips moving and feet jumping by the end of his set.
Plan B stepped onto stage and the whole room was electrified. The 34-year old performed his latest hits from his new album Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose, plus some of his most loved classics ‘Prayin’’, ‘She Said’ and ‘Stay Too Long’. The audience could not be contained in their seats. Even after a five-year break from the industry it’s clear that Plan B, AKA Ben Drew, is widely loved and admired by his fans. Although this album is less hip-hop than what his fans are used to, he still covers some deep and sensitive issues. Including the country divide caused by Brexit in ‘Guess Again’ and ‘It’s A War’.
"Now my feet are hurting, my ears are ringing, and my mouth is sore: all signs of an outstanding evening."
This was not just a one man show. Plan B had an ensemble of extremely talented men and women behind him. Two drummers, a guitarist, bassist and a man on the keyboard: all phenomenal. The backing singers were not confined to standing behind their mics, they were up and down the stage, dancing, jumping and hypnotising us to do the same. Their energy was infectious. They did not fail to captivate and entertain the crowd.
Now my feet are hurting, my ears are ringing, and my mouth is sore. All signs of an outstanding evening. From the murmurings I can hear from fellow audience members asking for an encore, we are all unanimous: they have left us wanting more.