BBC Radio 1Xtra brings stars to city

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Plan B at BBC 1Xtra Live ©BBC 1Xtra

Some the biggest stars of the UK hip hop and R’n’B scene got the people of Liverpool jumping as BBC 1Xtra Live returned to the city.

The Echo Arena played host to an all-British line up as it staged the third night of the free-ticketed tour. Up and coming London rapper Devlin, Hackney quartet Rudimental, and East London’s Labrinth took to the stage, with the event headlined by chart-topping Plan B.

Devlin, who is best known for his 2011 hit ‘Let It Go’, may have lost his voice on the night, but that did little to stop him getting the crowds excited as he took to the stage. The first surprise of the night saw rapper Wretch 32 emerge from the audience to join the promising young star to perform ‘Off With Their Heads’.

The unconventional running order saw Labrinth perform his set ahead of Rudimental, a move which surprised many audience members. Signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco label as the first non-talent show winner in six years, the chart sensation performed several of his hits including ‘Let The Sun Shine’, ‘Earthquake’ and most recently ‘Beneath You’re Beautiful’, a track which features MOBO award-winning Emeli Sande.

Rudimental followed suit with an equally energetic set, but appeared to sing very little with the usual quartet performing as just a trio.

The vocals were on top form though when Plan B arrived. Performing a set that not only looked like but sounded like one from his own sell-out tours, the singer, actor and director belted out tracks from both his The Defamation of Strickland Banks album and his more recent Ill Manors record. The second surprise to the line up saw London rapper Kano duet on the track “Live Once”.

Rounded off with a display of pyrotechnics, few could argue that the night wasn’t time well spent.

Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1Xtra said: “1Xtra Live is a key moment for us to showcase and celebrate exactly what the station stands for – the best new urban music.

“This year’s event has an incredible line-up and will provide a great opportunity to connect with our young listeners across the UK.”

The tour also visited London and Manchester before closing in Birmingham.

About Alice Kirkland, JMU Journalism