Ben Drew (known as Plan B) is a geezer. A proper East End geezer. He even looks the sterotype. Solid, rough around the edges with a glint in his eye. But hear him sing and you have to stop to make sure that soulful, almost angelic voice comes out of him. A voice like that should only belong to someone called Smokey. Growing up in Forest Gate part of East London, Ben started rapping because well, that’s what tough guys do. But it didn’t stick. He released his debut album “Who Needs Actions When You Got Words” in 2006, an angry, crude rap album (and when I say angry, I mean, bloody, violent, stabbings with a biro happening kind of anger) but professedly he is not that guy anymore. The rapping led to a few film roles (most notably thriller “Harry Brown” starring Michael Caine) which led to a collaboration for a song “End Credits” for the movie. It landed Plan B his first UK top 10 and got him singing. And that led him back to what he says is his first love. Soul and R&B, that whole Motown vibe. So now what we’ve got is a blue-eyed soul man, rocking a trilby and a sharp suit, number one album (The Defamation of Strictland Banks) in his back pocket, kicking the 60s all the way back to today. He may have mellowed a bit but don’t get me wrong, this is still jagged edged soul. And something tells me he will always be one of those guys who Stays Too Long.