“Are you sitting comfortably?” – Screw that!
Get up and let’s start a f**king mosh Pit !!
The famous O2 arena was transformed into a night of pure adrenaline, visual complements and powered with real talent when Plan B brought he’s outstanding Grindhouse tour to London. With support act’s at a first-class standard; it was destined to be a very special night.
Kicking things off was Rudimental. Four of Hackney’s finest, gracing the stage, and warming up the frozen crowd with their warm vibes, and energetic presence. They began by easing up the pre-gig stiffness that had not entirely left the room, loosening up the atmosphere and sparking a buzz that continued to rise way into the night. Jazzy tones scattered their performance from the talented trumpet guy, Mark Crown. As they delighted fans by performing hits such as ‘Feel the Love‘ and ‘Not Giving In‘, which welcomed the stunning vocals of John Newman to the arena stage.
Next up was Mr Earthquake himself, delivering an electronic performance while looking like someone fresh from the Matrix. Labrinth is no doubt a showman, bouncing off each and every beat. Projecting his diverse and unrestricted versatility as he goes from literally smashing up his distressed guitar with the high paced ‘Pass Out‘ and ‘Earthquake‘, to the mellow ‘Beneath your Beautiful‘ where he almost formed his very own O2 choir. The night kicked off to a great start, however it still hadn’t come close to truly beginning, and everybody knew it!
Embrace the exhilaration… now it’s time for Plan B
Divided into two diverse sets, Plan B first arrived on stage full on Strickland ready. Looking dapper in his deep burgundy checked suit and accompanied with his chic soul styled band. He began by playing out hits from the NO.1 album ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks‘. With an arrangement of visuals in action across the screens in the background, It was understood that this wouldn’t be just another gig. But an exhibit of his journey so far, musically and visually. From ‘ Writings on the wall‘ to ‘Prayin‘, to the ‘The Recluse‘, ‘She Said‘ and the very much-loved ‘Love Goes down‘. The incredibly gifted Ben Drew satisfied the entire crowd with he’s smooth soul production.
However with that Mr Strickland Banks left the building, and the impressive Faith SFX took to the stage. With a brief inhale of complete skill, Faith SFX blew minds, and stunned all with his powerful beatboxing. Causing an echo of every single thud to pulsate and sweep through the hyped crowd. If the arena didn’t already know about Faith and his talents, they certainly did by the time he left the stage.
The adrenaline was pumping at an all time high, and with an informal change of attire, it was once again time to welcome Plan B and the B Team back to the limelight; ready for a much-anticipated harrowing ride to Ben’s newest masterpiece ‘iLL Manors‘.
Segments from his directorial film debut of the same name, was projected onto the screens behind him. Introducing and accompanying each track he immensely performed. Opening with ‘I Am The Narrator‘ Plan B perfectly created a high-powered atmosphere, allowing him to feed off it; as he stormed through the energetic set. Massively raising the buzz to extremes when the motivational and inspiring ‘Live Once‘ was performed, alongside the much talented surprise guest Kano. The energy from the crowd was roaring, and things were about to get a touch more heated, when Plan B then went on to perform his power punching, leading track ‘iLL Manors‘. Enhancing the impact of the performance with rioters and band members strolling back and forth across the stage with flares, the crowd was ALIVE!!
“Where’s my mosh pit crew at?”
Plan B stepped slightly away from his own creation, to perform Chase and Status collaborations ‘End Credits‘ and ‘Pieces‘ which inspired the development of his much-loved mosh pits. Before returning back to an on stage brawl with guitarist Tom Goss as they performed ‘Stay too Long‘. Before he eventually wrapped up the night with a rewind back to his first-class track ‘iLL Manors‘.
It truly was an amazingly memorable night, one that would take a whole lot of effort and talent to top. Ben Drew is quite clearly in a league of his own and a definite force to be reckoned with.
As the final tracks played out, rolling credits motioned the screens behind. Crediting the names of the individuals that contributed and was present in the success, and journey of the remarkable Plan B. Symbolising the end of something?? we sincerely hope not, but there is no doubt that a much deserving rest is needed for Ben.
We just hope the wait isn’t too long before he is back creating, and narrating to us, his art that we love so much!
Words by: Demi Leigh ( @4DemiLeigh )