It’s not often that you hear an artist quite as unique as Ben Drew in such a unique setting as Westonbirt Arboretum.
It was soggy Saturday as we set off to see Plan B play just one in a series of Forestry Commission gigs. We weren’t quite sure what to expect as we arrived at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire.
It was definitely a set as diverse as the audience who had travelled to see the three-time Ivor Novello award winner. The first half of the show saw Drew looking absolutely stunning in his sharp suit as he settled his crowd in nicely with the soulful tones of The Defamation of Strickland Banks. The second half was dominated by an impressive back catalogue of older, darker material.
If there was ever a moment that defined Plan B as an exceptionally talented performer it came in the shape of his covers of Ben E King’s Stand By Me and Seal’s Kiss From a Rose.
As if that wasn’t enough our jaws practically hit the floor once Faith SFX stepped forward and hypnotised the crowd with his human beatbox. Literally propelling the standing crowd into the air with his unquestionable talent and hits such as as The Prodigy’s Breathe and classic Outhere Brother’s Boom,Boom,Boom!
It became obvious that it was going to take much more than the, at times, torrential rain to cool down the sold out crowd.
The timing of this set was impeccable as Drew returned to the stage for the second half of the show which featured his older tracks and songs from his new album (and latest film) Ill Manors.
If there is one thing we have learned from this show it’s that if ever Ben is playing in a town near you, GO, GO, GO! You won’t be disappointed!
With the first in a series of weekend events put to bed, Westonbirt now looks to it’s next big headliners in the shape of chart sensations The Wanted (20 July), Alfie Boe (21 July), and finishing off their successful reunion tour Steps (22 July). To buy tickets and check out other great arists performing at this stunning venue check out the Forestry Commission website here.
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