Chap Hop! Hoorah!
It’s been 10 years now that Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer has been traversing the world to gentify the world of rap and introduce a sense of decorum and, if nothing else, better grammar. He returned to Manchester to play Gullivers again. As he quipped to the crowd: “you only play Gullivers twice… once on the way up…”
He was here to stir up a hullabaloo about his new long player There’s A Rumpus Going On, as well as a snazzy range of handkerchiefs, and a slightly less snazzy range of “undershirts”.
He opens his summer soirée with ‘All Hail The Chap’ with not only pays an ode to his magazine of choice but lays out ground rules for attendees and prospective party members. From then on it’s his calling card, ‘Chap Hop History’. Over the last decade he must have played it a thousand times but he still keeps it fresh and never shows signs of wearying of it.
The show is a mix of the old and the new, There’s A Rumpus Going On is represented by ‘Still Can’t Play The Trombone’ and ‘We Need To Talk About Kanye’. The latter goes down a storm with a parody of the subject matter’s appearance at Glastonbury thrown in for good measure. Not played tonight but from the same album is…
There’s a rare outing of the ever green pop song ‘Curtesy For Me’ from The Tweed Album and we get a rousing Bavarian sing song too.
What with Mr B being in t’North he rolls out his classic medley of traditional folks songs from t’Mondays, t’Inspiral Carpets and t’James. He rounds it off with the chorus of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ before a few cheeky gags at a Mr Ian Brown’s incapacity to carry a tune in a bucket.
Prompted by the audience, but not by much we suspect, there is a healthy dose of songs from his frankly phenomenal debut album, Flattery Not Included. Ironically, a large section of the lyrics on that album are about unhealthy doses. These songs are still as bawdy and hilarious as they were when I first saw them live in 2010. ‘Timothy’ rips up a formerly well-known DJ, ‘Crack Song’ prefigures Amy Winehouse’s decline and then the song that always brings the house down, ‘Kissing In Porn’.
Which just leaves us with his usual ending: ‘Songs For Acid Edward’ and a hearty love song to the little pills that once made him feel rather queer. This being Manchester everyone had a nice little dance.
A short and sweet encore with a cutesy, heartfelt cover of Bowie’s ‘Starman’ then it’s off to mingle with the chumrades.
Raconteur par excellence, Mr B never disappoints, always entertains.