Live Review: Plan B, Sound, Leicester Square, 19th May

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The Independent Culture

As Kafka once described; "When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous insect”, thus a metamorphosis of the self can definitely make a big change, be it for better or worse. With this in mind, Plan B, obviously failing at Plan A, has transformed into a giant insect that climbs walls for pleasure. Ah, not really, he’s just changed in to a male Amy Winehouse (which is similar to be a big insect climbing the walls come to think of it) and he’s managed to blow away critics with his new album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks.

With a guitarist who resembles the goofy Napoleon Dynamite, and entwined with a big band, (which looks more like a gang), dressed to the nines with dapper suits and dresses, Plan B actually now looks like a well respected man and possibly someone who you would take home to meet the parents.

Putting aside his working class grimy raps, and replacing it with some duwop backing singers, alongside a few daughters of the famous types on the guest list, (Jamie Winstone, Daisy Lowe- who actually miss the show but come for the after party- big fans of course!) deems the right criteria to help Mr B comeback with a pleasant and popular vengeance.

As Plan B (real name Ben Drew) starts grinding away, involving himself in some emo singing, legs shaking under his tailored suit, there’s something quite gangster and sinister about him, but then all is forgotten when I spot the hot water and bottle of honey next to his bottle of water on stage.

The new material is defiantly changing from his former style, yet his songs still keep an element of UK grime, which at first seems slightly out of place, though in hindsight actually merges in surprisingly well with the suits and shiny boots.

Not the conventional pop star is Plan B (bless) but that’s probably more reasons to give him a chance. Songs such as The Recluse, Prayin’, and the every so catchy She Said makes you drift into a semi nostalgic state of old blues and jazz music trance, and then 1-2-3, back in the room, and you’re watching a well clad lad who looks like one of yours brothers old school mates.