Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 14 January 2013

Plan B: Mercury Nominated Rapper Reaps The Benefits Of His Ever-Shifting Musical Landscape

Sometimes it must seem that if your name is Ben Drew and you release anything under the nom de plume of Plan B, then everyone and their granny will claim to have you pigeonholed not only as an artist, but as an individual too.


It sure don"t help when said artist is openly honest in interviews about his hopes, fears and goals.

It also puts backs up when an artist gains cult-status but is so talented and driven that being head of a clique is only a stepping stone to mass recognition.

Ben Drew won"t have it said that his ever-shifting musical landscape is in anyway bandwagon jumping:

"I was making (soul) music before Mark Ronson made his name, before Amy Winehouse made hers."

But then again the mass success of his second album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, wasn"t the true face of Ben Drew .. he was playing a character, that of a fictional British soul singer imprisoned for a crime he didn"t commit.



The album followed hot on the heels of his debut, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words; a bleep-heavy, anger-driven, realism-encrusted postcard from an inner-city kid to the big wide world.

Plan B was out of the blocks and the grime community were soon left stunned and in his wake.

But the ways of the music industry were a sudden wake-up call for the artist:

"It was quite a hard experience for me. I put a lot into it and I never felt the record company pushed it as hard as they could.

"I felt there was a lot of people on radio getting in the way of me and my audience."



Drew briefly attended an anger management course:

"I just didn't have time to keep going, but I think I've got my anger under control and have a nice long fuse on my temper."

Then came the mind blowing success of The Defamation of Strickland Banks.

Trouble was, few knew or even cared that Drew was acting out a character.

They were just bloody good songs and he was the face that appeared at the microphone.

He soon came to terms with the fact that:

"I need to start handling things like I'm a star and stop thinking I'm just a normal person.

"But I want to keep the right balance. I don't want to have my head up my arse."



For his latest release, Ill Manors, Drew"s gone back to his roots and back to the early hip-hop influence of his debut.

One thing he hasn"t done is retracted from the public eye, as along with the album came his directorial big budget film debut of the same name.

"I"ve found the best way I can get across what I think is by showing examples, stories. I"m a storyteller, everything else is secondary."

Plan B plays The Brighton Centre on 11th February. For more details visit brightoncentre.co.uk

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Reach Out, I'll Be There was originally famously performed by the Four Tops and will be re-released by co-writer Lamont Dozier, completely repackaged as an gospel fuelled acoustic tune. 

We Are Scientists, the Brooklyn, New York based power pop troupe are set to return with their sixth album, Megaplex

Hot on the heels of their recent rammed and raucous Winter tour, Northern psychedelic punks The Lovely Eggs are set to release their forthcoming album This Is Eggland, ahead of a date on the south coast.

"We're from the days when a number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around." Soul II Soul mainman Jazzie B remembers the lengths he and a school friend used to go to play dances with their first sound system when they were just thirteen years old.

In anticipation of International Women's Day and to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act - which gave many women the vote in UK for the first time -  Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton, will host a panel debate on women in creative leadership.  

Brighton's contemporary art gallery Fabrica has launched a crowdfunding appeal to rescue its finances in light of recent funding cuts which threaten the organisation’s future. 
Peace Pic (c) Jonnie Craig 2018

Indie rock quartet Peace have released stand-alone track, Power, a unifying anthem between the band and their fans at their notoriously raucous and tribal live shows; this is Peace 2.0; new label, new tunes and a sure fire statement of intent from the four-piece.

The Netherlands has been chosen as the lead international partner for The Great Escape who will be working alongside the Dutch Music Export to highlight the country's most prominent rising stars.

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival, the UK's only major greenfield jazz festival, today announces a host of acts confirmed to perform at this summer's event, which returns to Glynde Place in East Sussex from June 29th – July 1st 2018.

Split Britches present an up-to-the minute topical interactive show which takes unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in us all - particularly elders – and tries to uncover it. 

Albert Hammond Jr's new album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. 

Punk. Funk. Rock. Soul. The main ingredients in a potent witch's brew that the Bellrays have been mixing for a long time now.

Brighton Unitarian Church has been awarded a grant of £227,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore its endangered classical Greek frontage, which dates from 1820, and is one of the city centre's finest landmarks.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd