PlanB are an eight-piece ‘Rock’n’Soul’ band from Adelaide, Australia. Inspired by originators like Dexy’s Midnight Runners and the great Stax Records groups, PlanB combine a rocking rhythm section with a cooking horn section, and play almost entirely their own original repertoire.
Ahead of this weekend’s mini Cambodian tour, Leng Pleng got in touch with PlanB bandleader, bass player and backing vocalist Peter Flierl to find out a little more about the band:
This will be the band’s second visit to Cambodia? What are your expectations for the trip and what is on your to-do list?
“Actually this will be PlanB’s third visit to Cambodia but it has been something like six or seven years since the last one …. a long time between drinks. Getting some amazing groundswell in ‘likes’ on our social media pages specifically from Cambodia and looking forward to perform live for all our new fans. Although PlanB’s third visit, five of the eight current band members have not previously visited Cambodia … so there is a lot of expectation in relation to the unknown. We are all looking forward to seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat between our two Siem Reap performances.”
PlanB is a hugely experienced band with some awesome musicians in the fold. On any given night, what different musical styles does the live show encompass?
“The current lineup still has the talents of Robert Williams on trumpet and Patrick Stapleton on trombone but our newer ‘recruits’ bring yet a further level of musicianship to the band which makes this the strongest lineup to date. Whilst the band is still firmly rooted in a very melodic based pop/rock sound, there are certainly jazz, soul and blues influences, with a hint of ska, which round out the present day PlanB sound.”
Full-on Western party bands are in short supply here in Cambodia. We expect you to get a great reaction at your gigs in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. What is the music scene like in Adelaide at the moment and which bands do you go and see when you have a night off?
“Overall, Adelaide currently has a reasonably healthy live music scene, certainly with regard to venues, however PlanB spends most of its time on writing new songs, in the recording studio or creating videos for all the band’s releases……. and of course planning the almost obligatory annual international tour When we have an opportunity to go out and see a band, it’s usually a band that we have friends playing in.”
The full Plan B line-up is quite a large number of musicians. Will you be coming to Cambodia with the full brass section in tow, or will you be bringing a streamlined version of the band?
“We always try to tour with the full brass section and the current Fire Rooster Tour is no exception . Cambodia will witness the full 8-piece PlanB experience, including traditional PlanB three piece horn lineup of trombone, trumpet & flugelhorn.”
Do your sets comprise only of your own original songs? Does a working band in Adelaide need to play covers to survive?
“For the last 3 years or so, PlanB has been in the enviable position where the band has been able to play pretty well 100% original songs. That being said …. we still include the Dexys Midnight Runners track ‘Plan B’ from where the band derived its name ….. and we will be bringing back another cover which was a particular favourite of the crew at Sharky Bar.
Your second question is not an easy one to answer. There are very few musicians/bands capable of surviving solely on original music, so I guess a very simple answer is probably yes, you do need to play some covers to survive. That being said, if you do not rely solely on music in order to make a living,then it is possible to follow the path PlanB have chosen and play only original music.”
If the band were to mix a special ‘Plan B’ cocktail for your gigs in Cambodia, what would it be?
“Vodka martini …… shaken not stirred …:) Mongolian vodka preferably”
PlanB will perform at Sharky Bar in Phnom Penh on the 30th June, at FCC Angkor Siem Reap on Saturday 1st July and at Triangle Bar in Siem Reap on Sunday the 2nd July.
Thanks to Peter Flierl of PlanB for this Q&A!
pics – supplied