Poppy Perez at Plantation
Friday 19th August saw Plantation laugh out loud in the face of a decidedly washed-out British summer, while playing host to an evening of vibrant entertainment courtesy of international duo Rabbits Running and later, the super-buoyant Poppy Perez.
In the delightfully unpretentious setting that is Plantation, support act Rabbits Running (consisting of American singer-songwriter Robbie Fitzsimmons and Brit producer and drummer Darren McGrath) performed a selection of tracks from their demo-EP, to a rapt audience of Plantation guests. Confessing from the off that their set would take a somewhat stripped, improvised form, the pair’s electro-rock-dance musical fusions translated surprisingly well into the live acoustic sphere – also taking on something of a funk-tastic and occasionally ethereal, lounge-type sound. Topping a promising performance of melodic tunes and galloping primal beats, the boys staged their own tribute to late singer Amy Winehouse with a bright and energetic rendition of Back to Black.
When 4-piece band Poppy Perez took to the stage, they pledged to treat us to a spot of sunshiny electro-Latin power-pop – and that they certainly did. Weaving in folk influences here and there, the set also had a bit of a calypso feel too, with bright optimism the key note coming to the fore. White Tigers was a clear highlight, with feisty barefoot dancing from the band’s spirited singer, who later turned her artistic hand to the flute for Now I Know.
The bands were equally spoilt, granted a fun-loving audience eager to get involved while relaxing and enjoying wholesome, authentic Caribbean cuisine (the aromas from which must be the most enticing you will find on Cheltenham Road). To any first-time visitors, it soon became clear that Plantation makes for the perfect, informal environment in which to chat, chill or dance. In addition to their own songs, the musicians also sang enthusiastically the praises of founder and chef Beverley Forbes – thanking her for the extraordinary hospitality that regulars know to be part and parcel of the Plantation experience. Expertly providing a melting pot of upbeat summery vibes to accompany its August diners, Plantation gets a well-deserved pat on the back for this one.