Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer
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Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer

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Band Hip Hop Comedy

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"Mr.B’s Chap-Hop Hoorah!"

Banjolele-playing Mr. B is a deftly crafted character with oodles of charm. His newest solo show Chap-Hop Hoorah! packs many of his greatest hits, rich with laugh-out-loud lyrics. With the unusual addition of air conditioning – hoorah, indeed – the set is an upbeat hour of cleverly twisted rap at its most inoffensive. All crude suggestions are delivered with a Carry On “Oo-er” attitude. This is hip hop you could take your mum to.
Fringe venue The Voodoo Rooms provides a stylish setting for Mr. B’s quest to reconnect hip hop with good manners. With smash-hit performances at various festivals and the release of The Tweed Album, 2012 has been a good year for this gentleman. Both the new CD and the Mr. B club tie are available for sale at the rapper’s dates from his on stage assistant, butler Carshalton. The deadpan sidekick provides an entertaining accomplice throughout the evening. Watch out for his shining moment.
His repertoire includes many wonderful original gems such as More Kissing In Porn Please, We’re British, but also an innovative mash-up of George Formby’s When I’m Cleaning Windows and Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot. Some of the newer material, however, doesn’t command as much attention and is clearly weaker than the older classics. The strongest songs feature sing-along choruses, audience dance routines or a gentlemanly re-imagining of rap classics. It’s difficult to beat the 30-years-of-hip-hop-condensed-into-five-minutes medley, and the encore (complete with rave lighting in the breakdown) is a strong contender for best closing moment in this year’s Fringe.
Mr. B has more impact as a featured act in a revue. In an hour-long show, due to the nature of his musical genre, it’s sometimes hard to catch all the lyrics (it’s not a show you’ll enjoy if you’re tired or hungover). But Chap-Hop Hoorah! has many saving graces. The Gentleman Rhymer’s skill with the banjolele is second to none, and on top of that he also flirts with a pianoforte, assuring us it’s purely to secure a listing in the cabaret section of the Fringe programme. New song Curtsey for Me is another delight, with additional comic moments from the supporting vocals in the backing tracks. Jamaican-accent dance hall, anyone?
Chap-Hop Hoorah! is good, clean, sing-along fun. How anyone would not enjoy shouts of “Skank it up now!” coming out of an immaculately dressed and moustachioed gentleman’s mouth is beyond me. - This is Cabaret


"Mr.B’s Chap-Hop Hoorah! 5 Star Review"

There were clearly some diehard fans in this audience - they began to mime along and dance as soon as Mr B, heralded by his butler, graced the Ballroom stage of the Voodoo Rooms with his breeding, rhyming and class. From the outset Mr B is a man who is incredibly good at what he does. What he does can be called into question, but for an hour of brilliant entertainment, look no further.
The butler, Carshalton, feels like a welcome but superfluous addendum. Later in the show he performs a self-conscious breakdance but before that he does not really feature. Mr B, however, was a revelation, performing self-aware and satirical hip-hop performed in a brilliant RP accent. This was mixed with superbly ironic dancing, hilarious facial expressions and an incredible moustache, as well as banjolele-playing worthy of gods.

A highlight of the show was the vague and embarrassed nod to the fact that Mr B’s performance features in the Cabaret section of the Fringe guide. He sits down at his keyboard, makes several awkward but subtle comments and starts the brilliant song ‘It Doesn’t Pay to Turn Up Late to an Orgy’.

This show is hilarious and wonderful. If you want a great hour of entertainment, one that is self-conscious and wonderfully aware of the social context it finds itself in, make a trip. You won’t be disappointed. - Broadway Baby


"Mr.B’s Chap-Hop Hoorah!"

Mr B returns to the Edinburgh Fringe offering a spritely combination of his third album mixed with solid covers of fan-favourites from the 80s and 90s. As a performer Mr B is able to merge pop, hip hop, and music hall into a concert atmosphere that other cabaret performers would envy. Strutting the stage in an impeccable satire of the gentlemanly classes, Mr B manages to parody the idle rich and ‘ill mannered’ poor alike. His songs vary between gentrified ballads, pre-millennial nostalgia and smutty comedy with his tremendous showmanship, carrying the act throughout.
Combining his charisma with excellent audience work and the vibe of a rock concert MR B lyrically gets away with murder. Even at his most blatant Mr B comes off with a sense of decorum unfound in other acts. He is possibly the only Fringe performer able to advise “you can’t rape a goat these days” and make it sound like sensible advice.
The addition of the character Carshalton is mixed at best. While adding another character allows for some wonderful sight gags, his solo song ‘Gentleman’s gentleman’ is quite lacklustre. While not a bad singer the song is on the whole overly-long and not as well constructed as Mr B’s regular fare.
Mr B is a continually innovating act and even if you have seen Mr B before, over half of the performance is material from his newly released Tweed album, making this a show not to be missed. - Hairline Reviews


"FRINGE 5 STAR REVIEW – Mr B’s Chap-Hop Hoorah, Voodoo Rooms"

By and large, performers at the Fringe are a terribly ill-mannered, slovenly lot. Not so Mr B, the gentleman rhymer. Back in Edinburgh to educate and elucidate the masses with the scintillating sound of Chap-Hop, his solo show at the Voodoo Rooms is therefore one of the most enlightening – and hilarious – you will see this year.

Mr B’s Chap Hop Hoorah features the eponymous performer (and his butler Carshalton) perform a series of ditties on his banjolele. The genius twist that makes Mr B vital is his mashup of styles: introducing cabaret’s most treasured instrument to the phat beats and breaks of hip-hop.

Whether you are familiar with the music he spoofs and covers or not, this works brilliantly. Seeing the tweed-clad mustachioed Mr B adopt a classic rap pose or posture is something which never gets old: and if you do know the originals, then his covers of the likes of Happy Mondays (‘Northern folk music’) and Reel 2 Real are made all the more enjoyable.

And Mr B is an adroit musician to boot. Playing to backing tracks, his fingers are a blur as he picks out the rhythms and solos which make his music sparkle – he is justified in proclaiming himself a ‘maestro of the ukulele’.

The lyrics to his original songs are clever creations too, whether laying out the rules of being a chap, or lamenting the lack of privacy introduced by the modern-day internet. And most of them benefit from the audience singing along in the choruses, something which requires little encouragement from tonight’s bouncing crowd.

Whilst his routine may be based on only one comic conceit, Mr B’s with, stage manner and material are more than strong enough to make this hour-long show speed past in an immensely enjoyable blur.

All hail this chap, indeed. - Edinburgh Spotlight


"Mr B, The Gentleman Rhymer"

The cabaret stylings of the Kazimier with its plush red velvet backdrop proved the perfect environment for the moustachioed pioneer of “Chap Hop” Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, performing as part of the Liverpool Comedy Festival tonight.

Playing to a packed house and armed with his trusty banjolele, Mr B wowed the crowd with his musical tales of his old friend “Edward” and lessons in the history of Hip Hop.

Taking the stage for not one, but two encores it seems that he is fast becoming an act not to miss. - Liverpool Echo


Discography

Flattery Not Included (Album) 2008
Timothy BBC Radio 6 Music
Chap Hop History BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 2

I Say (Album) 2010
Hail the Chap Sky Arts TV, BBC Radio 6 Music
Songs for Acid Edward BBC Radio 1 & 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music

O.G. Original Gentleman (Album) 2011
The Tweed Album (Album) 2012
Summertime BBC Radio 1
Curtsey For Me BBC Radio 6 Music

Photos

Bio

Having spent the best part of a decade bringing some manners back to popular culture, this dopest of fellows will entertain and amuse you with his ingenious stylings.

Aiming to dazzle with dignity, Mr. B takes to the stage with his Banjolele and stiff upper lip to perform ditties of pipe-smoking, high society, Cricket and sexual misadventure, as well as some more well-known pieces from the world of Hip-Hop, re-worked in true Chap-Hop fashion.

Mr.B has fast gained a reputation as an eloquent and entertaining live performer, playing recitals across the UK and into Johnny Continent for the past two years from the Glastonbury Festival to club NME in Paris, from the club in Surrey to the Edinburgh fringe. His video 'Chap-Hop history' has received over half a million hits on youtube and an old skool rave medley entitled 'Songs For Acid Edward' has had props from Orbital's Paul Hartnoll and SL2's DJSlipmatt.

His music has been played by Marc Riley, Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson on BBC 6Music and he has performed live on air for Scott Mills, Nick Grimshaw and Rob Da Bank on Radio 1.
In the summer of 2010 he appeared on stage with DJ Yoda to perform one of Yoda's favourites 'Let Me Smoke My Pipe' has guested on banjolele and vocals on US nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot's album 'Zero Day' and recently remixed and rapped on Rizzle Kicks' hit 'When I Was A Youngster' In 2011 he won 'best hip-hop act' at the People's Music Awards held at London's Scala and in 2012 was nominated for no less than 5 Brighton Fringe Awards.
His debut long player 'Flattery Not Included' has sold nearly 3,000 copies from his website gentlemanrhymer.com and his last album 'I Say!' is fast approaching that too.
His latest long player 'The Tweed Album' was released in June 2012 and has been described as 'A Psychedelic Chap-Hop masterpiece'.
Mr.B is a true 'festival favourite' and was in the Guardian's top ten things to see at last year's Glastonbury.
Hoorah!

'Hip-Hop comedy genius'- The Telegraph
'Unique'- Tom Robinson, BBC 6Music
'Mesmerising...sublimely funny'- Andrew Collings BBC 6Music
'A true cabaret performer'- Nicholas Parsons
'Hilarious'- The Independent
'One of my (Manchester) Festival highlights'- City Life
'Sublime Genius'- The Chap