Following a lengthy 5-year pause on his career, it felt like forever since Plan B had last graced a London stage for us. And with a striking new image and new material to showcase, he seemed determined to make his comeback gig a memorable one. So, as the night rolled in across our London skies last night (July 24th), a buzzing crowd was gathering inside the historic Shakespeare’s Globe, for a one-off and very special night of live music.
As the lights dimmed, the sound of ringing bells circled the venue and a cloud of smoke flooded the stage; paving the way for Plan B’s anticipated entrance. Welcomed by screams of excitement from the eager crowd, Plan B and his band — who wore eye-catching white theatrical masks for the first track — took their positions. It was a brand new unheard number that opened the set, followed by his latest single ‘In The Name Of Man’ from his upcoming forth studio album. The thought-provoking lyrics he delivered were accompanied by a flurry of toy soldiers in parachutes falling from the top and middle tier galleries to the crowd beneath. Effectively echoing the visuals from the singles official music video, and adding an extra layer of uniqueness to the already stand-out show.
The set list Plan B performed was a fan-satisfying mixture of both new tracks and older classics, pulled from his previous three albums. From the several new songs he sung, it was ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Stranger’ that felt like the biggest stand-outs. But it was a good ole journey back to his Strickland Banks days for performances of the much-loved ‘She Said’, ‘The Recluse’ and ‘Prayin’ that notched up the energy massively. Sparking sing-a-longs, cheers and whistles throughout the happy crowd.
The intimate set-up of the iconic venue allowed Plan B to add additional fun, creative elements scattered around his performance. Each contributing to the memorable quality of the night. The biggest theatrical feature was showcased half-way through the gig, when the same masks that made an appearance on the band members earlier in the evening, returned to their faces, as well as featuring on members of the audiences’ too. It was then that Plan B wowed his crowd with an impressive smoke and mirrors stunt, which first see him appear to be singing on stage, but instead, he’d switched places with a masked-lookalike and joined the crowd on the middle tier, sending everyone into an excitable frenzy for what was set to be a highlight of the show. Equipped with a guitar in his hands, Plan B sweetly swooned his fans with an acoustic performance of the heart-melting ‘Love Goes Down’. Before storming into his next track, demanding everybody to “listen the f*ck up”, as he threw it back to his epic debut album for a first-class rendition of ‘Kidz’. Where he skillfully belted out the raw, stand-out lyrics, that we were first introduced to over ten years ago, and a definite factor in the successful artist that he is today.
Returning to the Globe’s stage, Plan B powered through new track ‘Grateful’, 2012’s ‘Lost My Way’ and his brilliant Chase & Status collaboration ‘End Credits’. Before launching giant colour light-up beach balls into the crowd for a fun reggae-infused new song. For the encore Plan B energetically delivered his first-class ‘Ill Manors’ single, which is still just as brilliant as the day it was released and a definite crowd-favourite. And then cranked up the energy even further for the incredible ‘Stay Too Long’ which ended with a storm of silver confetti swirling the Globe.
Wrapping up the night, Plan B gave a special shout-out to his long-term guitarist and hype man, Adam Jordan (aka New Machine), for what was his last performance with the band. Before departing from the stage to chants of “Plan B” ringing through the crowd.
The unique combination of Plan B’s music in a venue as great as Shakespeare’s Globe, made it a definite night to remember. But most of all, Plan B, it’s just really good to have you back!
Written by Demi Leigh McGrane