Plan B faces a quandary as performer. Initially known as a hardcore acoustic rapper, his second album placed him firmly in the hearts of mothers. His adoption of a soulful crooner persona, Strickland Banks, means he has to please entirely different generations with his performances.
Plan B’s cleverly devised live show managed to bridge the gap by splitting itself into a “double feature presentation”. He spent the first part performing a truncated version of 2010’s Defamation Of Strickland Banks; then the second part inciting an organised riot with tracks from his directorial debut, Ill Manors.
It worked well for the most part. Part one was clearly polished from its own standalone tour and hit the singalong highlights well. A brilliant light show and a less-than-brilliant beatboxer transformed the stage from cabaret club to grim estate, and Plan B re-emerged in full fury.
The frenetic pace of part two at times drifted into tedium but standout tracks Lost My Way and the brilliant Ill Manors held it together. Closing the show with Chase And Status collaboration End Credits also worked well.
A strange encore medley threatened to spoil things but another rousing rendition of Ill Manors ensured all generations in the crowd were left on a high.