1. What’s your job at Plan B? What do you do day-to-day?
I am the Events & Promotions Manager at Plan B. I programme all of the events at the venue, as well as running specific in-house events. I also manage all of the marketing and promotion for the venue. On a day to day basis this includes everything from speaking to agents and building relationships with emerging artists, to attending a wide range of events throughout London and working with some of the best creatives money can buy.
2. How has Plan B been doing since it reopened last year?
Things have never been better! In the last year or so Plan B has not only regained its reputation as one of the most forward thinking venues in London (able to attract some of the biggest DJs and producers from around the world), but also has a great crowd, week in week out. I think people are pleasantly surprised when they make their first visit to the venue since the relaunch. Our focus on new music has certainly helped us, as has the resurgence of interest in Brixton as a whole. I have worked in Brixton for more than five years and projects like the redevelopment of Brixton Village and even things a little outside of the area, like Frank’s Campari Bar in Peckham, have shown just how much creativity there is here.
3. Is there a theme behind the people you choose to DJ at Plan B?
We book people we feel are doing something interesting and people with a connection to the area.
4. Do you want to promote local South London music or is your focus more on getting in big-name DJs?
A bit of both – South London has always had an incredibly rich musical heritage and these sounds have had a huge influence on the sort of music we listen to and promote. At the same time, South London is not particularly well catered for in terms of ‘big’ clubs and we feel that a lot of people have to travel to quite a long way to hear some of their favourite DJs, so we also have a keen interest in bringing people from outside the area to play here.
5. What’s thinking behind your ‘Community’ night – and why?
Proper house music has always had a home in the area, from the notorious Rooty parties run by Basement Jaxx to DJ Harvey’s now legendary sessions many many years ago, to things happening at the moment, like Andy Blakes’ World Unknown warehouse parties. The main idea behind ‘Community’ is to create a night that redefines peoples perception of what constitutes a ‘house’ night in the area – this isn’t about Ibiza anthems or about some ‘legend’ making a comback to a bunch of builders from Bromley, this is about listening to quality music with like minded local people in an environment that feels intimate. We want to bring back some of the affinity for the area that has been so strong in the past; that’s why we called it ‘Community’.
6. What has the reaction been to Community so far?
Fantastic! People seem to be getting very excited about the night (especially the Moodymann / Floating Points night on the 18th September – see below) and all of the people we have approached about playing at the night have been impressed by our vision and commitment to the project.
7. How do you view yourselves within the local community and why?
We do a lot of work with Strong Look in Brixton Village, which is run by a former employee of ours. We also spend a lot of time at Rosie’s Deli and are on first name terms with a lot of the small restaurants and bars in the area. We certainly see ourselves as part of the local community and have been championing Brixton for many years, I am not sure how local people see us, but they are always smiling when they leave here.
8. In 2007 Plan B joined the Brixton Collective and you were interviewed in ‘Time Out’ saying that it is a struggle to convince people to come to Brixton. Is that still the case?
I think things are very different these days. At the time, the area suffered from a lot of negative media attention and the two years of Victoria Line weekend closures for refurbishment work really didn’t help. But it is fantastic to see so many new things happening – from the redevelopment of the space in front of The Ritzy, to the work the police have been doing to clean up the area around the underground station. There are more creative people in the area now and a lot of opportunities for small businesses to flourish, in a way that is not possible in other areas of London – people have begun to support what they see around them, which is great. Even the old school Brixtonites have realised that they do not have to be stereotyped. We are reaching a critical mass. The troubles of the past have helped us prepare for the success of today.
9. What has been your favourite ever night at Plan B and why?
I have so many favourite nights it is hard to pick. David Rodigan’s set at the RBMA party back in February was incredible. However my favourite night was probably the after show party we did for LCD Soundsystem a few months back. James Murphy (lead singer of LCD Soundsystem) played disco records all night with Erol Alkan, and Soulwax were on the lights. It’s going to be hard to top that, although saying that I am very very excited about having Moodymann play!
10. Do you ever go partying anywhere else in Brixton?
All the time. I really like The Rest Is Noise for a pint after work and my favourite night in London is still DMZ at Mass.