On another swingin’ Tuesday night at Jitterbug, Nottingham's rising star electro swing and vintage tunes club night, we welcome the inventor of ‘Chap-Hop’; none other than Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer.
For those who are unfamiliar, Mr B is the alter ego of Jim Burke, former member of rap-indie outfit Collapsed Lung responsible for world cup anthem ‘Eat My Goal’ and has been working on various side projects since. He has now created a curiously popular and hilarious enigma of what looks like an eccentric Gary Oldman-meets-Sherlock Holmes type character, now a firm favourite on the festival circuit including the mighty Glastonbury. Mr B delivers comedy parodies of hip-hop classics and 80’s power rock, cunningly crafted into classics of their own, pronounced in the Queens finest English.
Donning a twirly moustache that would most likely conquer Movember competitions the world over, Mr B takes the stage complimented by a full tweed get-up and his staple banjolele.
Tonight’s spectacle (or monocle) begins; strumming through tracks ironically named A Piece of My Mind and Chap-Hop History; a medley of mixes from Sugar Hill Gang samples to Beastie Boys, Fight for Your Right, all achieved with the plum firmly in mouth, the crowd are left whooping just two tracks in.
Mr B gets the whole room bouncing to Let Me Smoke My Pipe, and adaptation of DJ Kool but aimed to campaign for the right to smoke in public, naturally, banjolele shoehorned in. He gets a raucous response from the men in to room to All Hail the Chap, which is a celebration of the whole concept of Chap, which, he claims, is coming back!
With the night in full flow, The Gentleman Rhymer, takes us through the belly achingly funny There’s Not Enough Kissing in Porn and The Crack Song. A highlight of the performance is the incredibly witty Straight out of Surrey, a brilliant transformation of Straight Outta Compton by NWA. Here he describes his cricketing vigour, batting straight out of Surrey and dashing all of the ‘Hottentots’ on the first row with his gentleman’s form. The fitting finale, I Can Move Any Mountain is the encore to end all encores, getting those in the room jumping to the very end.
The Jitterbug crowd in light hearted vintage and swing dancing finery were lapping it up and while it may not seem right trying to imagine the combination of a posh rapper with a banjolele revamping Kiss’s Crazy Crazy Night’s (complete with chord changes), this is no ordinary showman. So, just remember when you’re enjoying that cup of tea or tapping out your pipe, remember-the Chap is back, all hail the Chap!
Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer @ Jitterbug, Spanky Van Dykes 15 November 2011