Clash chats to the new owners...

Brixton's Plan B was a much-loved nightspot, combining an eclectic booking policy with an expertly cared for Funktion One soundsystem.

Sadly, Plan B closed its doors earlier this month. Shortly afterwards, news broke that the venue had been bought over by the Columbo Group.

A live agency with wide-ranging interests - the group are also developing a nearby Brixton pub into a Blues Kitchen outlet - many fans feared the worst.

Clash quickly got on the phone to Columbo Group representative Andy Peyton to find out their intentions for the South London spot.

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So Andy, what can you tell us about Plan B?
We've had our eye on it for quite a while and we started the process late last year. We completed the purchase earlier this month. We have a new name for it, we have plans for a new layout and we have plans for what we're going to do with it musically. Plans which we were going to announce shortly but somehow word has got out that we have completed the purchase. So whilst we're not going to give away any of the details we've kind of had to go on record and comment because everyone's talking about it.

Very true. Much of the worry has centred on the nearby Blues Kitchen development - are we to assume that the two won't be linked?
No, no, not in any way. I own shares in XOYO and the Nest, the same with Plan B. But not with Blues Kitchen. The Blues Kitchen is basically nothing to do with me. It's still Columbo Group, but a different department. The two venues are not in any way related.

So what can you actually tell us about your future plans for the venue?
This will be a completely new club with a new name and a new layout. We won't be in any way referencing Plan B. Obviously, we keep the same license on the premises, so we still have a 24 hour license. It will have a Funkion One soundsystem, which we'll make improvements to in terms of what we think we can do to improve it a little bit. In general, the sound was a big positive of Plan B. And then musically it'll be booked by us – it'll be dance music, it'll be a nightclub. We've got some ideas for things we're going to do, something different that we'll announce shortly.

Plan B was closely tied to bass music - will the booking policy reflect this?
We've got something quite specific, that we'll announce soon so I can't really give much away except to say that I think people will be quite happy with what we're going to do.

With the likes of Rhythm Factory and Plastic People closing recently, it's perhaps only natural for fans of the venue to feel concerned.
I definitely appreciate that people would be concerned about that because there's been so many things in the new recently regarding nightclubs closing or licensing issues with nightclubs. I think that anyone who likes nightclubbing and wants more, better clubs in South London will be happy with what we're going to do, and it's going to be a dramatic improvement.

How will the new venue interact with the existing community in Brixton?
I knew the venue as Plan B, but as things have progressed with us negotiating on the venue I've been spending quite a lot of time down there, quite a lot of time actually in the venue, and the area is amazing. It's only in the last six months that I've appreciated quite how vibrant it is. So much good stuff there. Brixton Market, and obviously it's got the Academy and the Electric as well. It's got some good venues. We hope that we're going to be a really important part of it.

Certain people said to me when we were looking at it said that 'it's great that you're near the Academy' because people will be walking past the venue. I really, really don't see it that way. I want us to be an entity in our own right, I want it to be something that is important to Brixton, something that Brixton is proud of.

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Columbo Group's new venue - in the Plan B building - will launch in September.

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