Since reforming in 2009 with 4 original members and 4 new members, PlanB has undertaken 5 international tours, but ironically enough has yet to play a gig in Australia since the band broke up in the 1980’s.
PlanB has been around for just a little while but the band is currently going through a creative renaissance with a new line-up, new songs, a new album, that first Australian gig, another international tour, and that is just the beginning.
2016 has seen some dramatic changes, none the least of which was the departure of vocalist Brett Monten and guitarist John Mulholland in mid 2015, just as the band was commencing the recording process for its second album.
Whilst the lead guitar role has proven a little more difficult to fill on a permanent basis, PlanB has been fortunate to recruit David Robinson as the new front man for the band and he takes ‘pole position’ through-out the new album. David has fit seamlessly into this role and provides a strong vocal and visual presence to the band.
The new album is expected to be released prior to PlanB’s departure for its UK Tour in mid 2016 and will be called “Time Is A Diamond”. It is being recorded at Hiball Studios with Nigel Grummet at the helm and will contain 11 new tracks. The album contains many collaborations and displays a far greater degree of variation in the styles of music than PlanB has previously tackled.
Two very distinct and accomplished female vocalists (Jen Lush from Adelaide & Ana Simonovska from Macedonia) provide their vocals on the album with Jen joining David on the band’s current single “Psycho Happy” while Ana joins David on the band’s upcoming release, “Cloudy With A Chance of Rain”.
Most of the guitar work on the album has been provided by local musician, Cory Stewart, who has also provided harmony vocals. Sneaky Pete and keyboard player, Adrian Miller have collaborated to write six of the eleven tracks on the album which has helped to create the ‘new direction’ for the band. With one of the tracks, Meri Jaan, the band even dabbles in a bit of “Urdu” and it has contributions from a number of Pakistani musicians including rapper Waleed Ahmad and distinguished tabla player, Ustad Mohammad Ajmal Khan, the latter of whom has performed with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Friday 6 May sees PlanB’s debut performance on Australian soil (so to speak) at The Gov with two other local Adelaide bands. PlanB will be road testing their “festival set” that is being taken to the UK in July. Whilst keyboard player and song-writing collaborator Adrian Miller will be unable to join the band at this performance for medical reasons, Sneaky Pete’s brother, Vic Conrad (of Mr V Music note) will be helping the band out on keyboards in Adrian’s absence. The lineup will also be featuring Peter McIver of local band Dangerman, and new drummer, David Lloyd. Flugelhorn player, Cameron McCracken Smith, who resides in Canberra will also fly in to join the PlanB horn section consisting of Rob Williams on trumpet and Patrick Stapleton on trombone.