Edge Festival, HMV Picturehouse, Fri 20 Aug 2010
This article is from 2010.
There is no doubt that Plan B's Ben Drew is an accomplished rapper and singer, but it's not until you see him live that you can appreciate how immensely talented he is.
Many artists work across several genres, but very few have successful attempted combining the virtually opposite genres of rap and hip hop and deep heart-felt soul.
Live, he exudes warmth and charisma - and just the right amount of cool and confidence - without pretense. This relaxed enthusiasm plugs the gap between his alter egos of tough urban rapper and emotional soul-boy persona.
Fellow beatboxer (that’s right, Drew also excels at this) Faith SFX opens the show with an incredible beatbox session, continually challenges the belief that what you hear is live. The crowd love his remix/cover of Reel 2 Real’s 'I like To Move It', and the excitement increases further as Drew makes his way onto stage and covers Seal’s 'Kiss From A Rose' and Bill Withers’ 'Ain’t No Sunshine'. By the end of an exceptional ‘warm up’, there is almost a festival atmosphere in the place, what with banners, girls on shoulders and the occasional fling of beer.
Plan B's show enthrals from start to finish, with all the big hits performed with equal gusto. Also showcased to tonight are two much heavier rock numbers, which was the only point I found my concentration wavering – as much as I’m for diversifying, I don’t think this sound suits them, or is the right direction for them.
However, all in all, an excellent gig, and whether you’re a big Plan B fan, have a mild appreciation, or just a vague recollection, you can't fail to enjoy the experience live.