ED2014 Cabaret ED2014 Interviews ED2014 Week3 Edition

Mr B: Edinburgh for chaps

By | Published on Sunday 17 August 2014

Mr B

Chap-hop pioneer (or ‘superstar’, to cite the show name) Mr B is back at the Fringe. And this time he’s promising “chap-hop, acid ragtime, drum and brass and naughty ballads”. And what more could a Fringe audience desire? “Mr B will educate you in such matters as love, lust, how to be magnanimous after a breakup, and why hip hop is rather rubbish these days” says the blurb. Curious? We were. So we tracked down the chap himself to find out more.

CC: For those who have somehow never seen your shows, tell us all we need to know about chap-hop.
MB: Chap-hop is what you might get if Chuck D, Noel Coward and George Formby drunkenly decided to form a band.

CC: You’re also promising some “acid ragtime, drum and brass and naughty ballads” this year. Do you have genre quotas in the show to ensure you deliver on the sales pitch?
MB: I have no idea what that last bit meant, but there will certainly be a bit of what was mentioned in the first sentence.

CC: Your show blurb also promises advice on “how to be magnanimous after a breakup”. Any tips you can share with us now?
MB: Just assure your erstwhile sweetheart that the only thing you wish to keep will be the plastic surgery.

CC: How does a Gentleman Rhymer fill his days during the Fringe?
MB: Shopping for tweed largely.

CC: Any recommendations for how other Fringe-going chaps can chill during the Festival frenzy?
MB: See above…and the occasional distillery tour usually does the job.

CC: You’ve played a number of festivals other than Edinburgh. How does this Fringe differ?
MB: The Fringe is different from all the other festivals. Most British summer festivals are simply jumped up village fetes, enjoyable as they are, but Edinburgh is a city transformed into a sort of beautiful, colourful medieval version of Surrey.

CC: Can you reveal anything about the “exclusive new ditties” you’re promising this year?
MB: I’d rather not reveal too much, suffice to say they are poorly rehearsed. That in itself should provide entertainment. Anything actually witty within them is just a bonus.

CC: And tell us why you’re down on modern hip hop.
MB: I’m not down on all modern hip-hop. There is an awful lot of wonderful stuff out there. It just never gets heard on the radio or anything like that anymore. My chagrin is twofold though. On one hand, there’s the over-hyped nonsense one does here on the radio, which I don’t believe people actually like. They merely accept it as the norm if they are lazy enough. That and the snootiness of the ‘keep-it-real backpack brigade’ who have an equally narrow view of the genre. Apart from that it’s all lovely.

CC: Favourite rhyme?
MB: Probably something by Kunt And The Gang.

CC: Favourite time (that’s my favourite rhyme by the way)?
MB: Tea time.

CC: Favourite rhymer (other than yourself)?
MB: There are so many… Melle Mel, Ronald Frankau, Dame Edith Sitwell…

CC: And best tweed for the Fringe?
MB: I would head (as I generally do) straight for Walker Slater, if I were you.

‘Chap-Hop Superstar’ was performed at The Voodoo Rooms at Edinburgh Festival 2014.

LINKS: www.gentlemanrhymer.com