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Manors Maketh The Man
He's already made the transition from underground hip hopper to blue-eyed soul boy du jour. Now Plan B has written and directe Ill Manors, a damning indictment of cameron's broken Britain, and is also about to star alongside Ray Winstone in a reboot of classic 70's cop caper The Sweeney ("Get dressed, you're nicked!") A wellied-up Stuart Clark meets him and his crew in a north Yorkshire forest.
Stuart Clark, 23 Aug 2012
“The one after that’s a rom-com with Jennifer Aniston in it,” he lies.
Also helping Plan B come to terms with being a thespian was – cue lousy, “My name is…” impersonations – Michael Caine who was in 2009’s Harry Brown with him.
“He’s an early example of people from my environment making it in the film world. To have been around since the ‘50s and still mean something to a brat like me is quite something. The only time we ever spoke was when we were working out how to do a scene. We didn’t get to know each other on a personal level, but to be honest that’s the way I wanted it. He’s my idol and I didn’t want to taint the experience.”
Someone who Plan B does go for regular pints with is Michael Stafford, aka Ireland’s very own hip hop/soul interloper Maverick Sabre.
“Me and Mav go way back,” he smiles. “He was 15 and won a MySpace competition to spend time in the studio with me. He was singing out of key and didn’t know about song structure, but had proper raw talent. Key found and song structure learned, I said, ‘Now you’ve got to go off and do it yourself because otherwise you’re always going to be known as ‘Plan B’s prodigy’ or ‘the next Plan B’, which will hinder you’. He and I are both comfortable talking about it now because he’s proved himself in his own right.”
That he most certainly has! While currently sporting a pair of the stonewashed denims beloved of early ‘70s suedeheads – this is a man who knows his pop culture – Drew will soon change into the razor-sharp suit that’s become synonymous with … Strickland Banks. Denby Forest wowed, there’s the small matter of heading to Manchester for a Stone Roses support.
“I’m too tired at the moment for it to register,” he yawns. “My mate’s got a studio two hours from here, so after last night’s gig I went there and worked until 9am this morning.”
Obviously the muse was upon him.
“Uh, no, I had to induce it! They’re mastering on Monday, and the only way I can finish it is to pull another all-nighter in the studio and then head to Heaton Park. Some of the songs aren’t even completely written yet…”