The ex-Smith proves his greatness on a spiky live album
Live review: Plan B
Cafe De Paris, London Wednesday, January 20
“Tonight is gonna be purely soul and nothing else,” Drew warns the crowd, not once delving into his back catalogue and only diverging from the new numbers with ‘Coming Up Easy’, a largely inspiring used car-dealer funk cover of a, er, Paolo Nutini song.
If Drew had been wearing a suit when he’d first arrived on the scene, we’d have assumed it was because he was on his way to court, but now, crooning black and blue-eyed soul – which works best when it features roughed-up rap breakdowns like on ‘She Said’ and ‘Stay Too Long’ – his polished patina fits.
Yet there is cause for concern, like the moments he veers dangerously close to drippy, Magic FM territory (‘I Know A Song’, ‘Love Goes Down’). When that happens the whole evening seems like an extended episode of The X Factor, complete with made-for-TV razzle-dazzle in the shape of backing singers in camp Jackie O shades and Drew taking time to pimp the Strickland Banks cocktails available at the bar. That said, as reinventions go, this is one plan that certainly seems to have promise.
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