THE sharp suited godson of soul, Plan B (also known as Ben Drew), strutted on stage to become the latest in a ever-increasing list of quality performers who have plied their trade at the impressive Sherwood Pines.
Playing to a sell-out crowd, a triumph was never in doubt.
However, there was no room for any complacency on stage as Ben, backed by his fine band of musicians and female backing vocalists, started to tear into the first half which drew heavily from his chart-topping album The Deformation Of Strickland Banks finishing with an ice cool version of his hit single She Said.
After that, the stage cleared to make way for human beatbox Faith SFX, who treated the crowd to a few minutes of rhythmic vocal percussion interspersed by songs such as The Prodigy’s Breathe and Blur’s Song 2.
It was then that Ben and the band returned, suits jettisoned in favour of street clothes, for a raucous finale.
There was a calm before the storm, however, in the form of a mash up of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me and Seal’s Kiss From A Rose (which shouldn’t have worked but did).
It wasn’t long before Plan B, as spokesman for disaffected street kids, buried the soul crooner under an avalanche of social commentary.
He spat out his hip hop lyrics, carried by ear splitting clashing guitars and punctuated by thunderous drums, and turned Sherwood Forest into a concrete jungle landscape.
He showcased several tracks from his forthcoming album Ill Manors which is also the name of his new film.
Tracks included the title track and the new single Lost My Way and with the sound and anger emanating from the stage increasing a few notches, the audience was left rocking. The band finally left the stage to rapturous applause and came back again to shake the pine needles to the ground with a blistering version of Stay Too Long. For the fans, Plan B couldn’t stay long enough - come back soon.