Fun Lovin' Criminals Brian 'Fast' Leiser tried to get Plan B on reggae project
- Bang Showbiz
- 29 June 2019
Fun Lovin' Criminals Brian Leiser invited Plan B to work on his band Radio Riddler's Prince-inspired reggae project but his management turned down the offer
Fun Lovin' Criminals' Brian 'Fast' Leiser tried to get Plan B to contribute to his Prince-inspired 'Purple Reggae' album by his side project Radio Riddler – but his management said no.
The 'Scooby Snacks' hitmaker teamed up with his bandmate Frank Benbini and guests including Sinead O'Connor – who had a hit with Prince's song 'Nothing Compares 2 U' in 1990 – UB40's Ali Campbell, Deborah Bonham (sister of Led Zeppelin's late John Bonham) and Beverley Knight on the LP in 2014, which featured the late singer's 'Purple Rain' tracks with a Jamaican twist.
He asked the 'She Said' rapper – whose real name is Ben Drew – to feature on a track, but his management had the final say and ended up turning down the offer.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, Brian recalled: "We tried to get Plan B to sing on something.
"You think Ben is a really cool guy.
"But it went through his manager so we couldn't do it.
"The manager and the label made the decision."
In 2010, Fun Lovin' Criminals recorded a special series of songs with UK hip-hop star Roots Manuva.
'Criminal Manuvas' was recorded at Maida Vale studios for BBC Radio 6 Music and saw the band give their hits the reggae treatment.
Brian is also a huge fan of UK rappers, including Skepta, Stormzy and Wiley.
And speaking on whether he'd like to work with any of them, he said: "There is only one UK rapper that we've worked with and he's called Roots Manuva, we couldn't say enough amazing things about him.
"Any of these UK rappers, Skepta, Stormzy, Wiley, I love them all."
But again, he says it's a shame that everything has to go through labels and managers these days.
Meanwhile, Brian – who with Fun Lovin' Criminals played one of the last shows at Manchester's iconic Hacienda nightclub, which was synonymous with the acid house era throughout the 80s and much of the 90s, until it closed in 1997 – has admitted he was "shocked" by Noel Gallagher's latest disco song 'Black Star Dancing' and hasn't ruled out collaborating with the former Oasis star.
He said: "That new song 'Black Star Dancing' is great.
"I was really surprised.
"We always call him 'N-O-E-L. Not to mock him.
"But we were shocked.
"It gets to the chorus and it's like, OK, it's a Manchester kinda thing."
US outfit Fun Lovin' Criminals – completed by frontman Huey Morgan – launched in 1993, just as Britpop emerged and they played shows with Oasis back in the day when they attempted to win over US audiences.
Brian admitted he is a huge fan of Noel, but hasn't got much time for his sibling and bandmate Liam Gallagher.
He said: "He's (Noel) another guy who we respect, his brother (Liam) not so much, he's a great songwriter.
"He's the nicest guy.
"We did some shows with Oasis in the States and he was always really cool."
Asked whether he would do a collaboration with Noel, Brian admitted: "I don't know. The couple times we've collaborated with people it's always been really special in the studio.
"When it comes to dealing with their managers they all back away and let the managers deal with it – and that's a sucker move."
Fun Lovin' Criminals play the Cool Britannia Festival on Sunday 1st September 2019. Tickets: www.coolbritanniafest.co