Live Review: Plan B - O2 Brixton Academy, London 03/05/2018
Plan B aka Strickland Banks aka The King of London was back to reclaim his crown in front of thousands of eager fans in the only place fit for a king, O2 Academy Brixton!!
The crowd was already pretty wild when we arrived so no doubt it could only get better from here, tonight’s support was fellow Brixton boy Hak Baker who swaggered onto stage and greeted the audience with a cheeky ‘Why the hell am I up here?” which got a huge round of applause and laughs. Hak’s songs sound like a mix of old cockney songs and grime, new tune ‘SKINT’ and ‘Like It or Lump It’ really showed off his range of talent for mixing countless instruments together to create something truly beautiful. The rest of Hak’s set got the crowd jumping and dancing, getting everyone ready for the main set of the evening.
With only releasing a handful of songs from his upcoming album, Plan B had a huge catalogue of new songs to play tonight’s crowd! After what seemed like hours, the lights turned a dark blue and the band started tinkering at their instruments before a mass of screams exploded out of the darkness as Ben Drew aka Plan B strutted onto stage in a sharp grey suit. Instantly kicking off into new song ‘Grateful’ the audience lost their minds, it doesn’t take long to show how much the world needed new Plan B songs; with shredding guitar solo’s and beautiful gospel choir syncing wonderfully with Ben’s iconic vocals. Wasn’t long before the old classics were heard, first up was ‘Prayin’ and ‘She Said’ which had everyone singing along! The set list tonight was perfect mix between the powerful and epic new songs and the upbeat and grungy classics, a wonderful acoustic rendition of ‘Love Goes Down’ took the mood down for a few minutes while everyone caught their breath before kicking into ‘Kidz’ which was by far Plan B’s most aggressive tune so far. Finishing off the set with the huge ‘Guess Again’ which exploded out of the speakers, with its reggae undertones and giant bass notes we could not spot one person not enjoying it.
Its not a proper Brixton show without a proper goodbye, which in Plan B’s case meant the best encore we have seen in a while; the grime heavy, fuck the man song ‘Ill Manors’ started off the carnage with every person screaming the lyrics back to Ben. A calming cover of Chase & Status’s ‘End Credits’ gave everyone a slight break before finishing off for good with everyone’s favourite ‘Stay Too Long’ which had a very impressive light show to say the least!!
Plan B is back and doesn’t look like he will be giving up the top spot anytime soon...
Words and Photography by Joe Dick