What could be more efficacious for aficionados of the English language than an evening with Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer? He is the chap who raps in the most eloquent English of the Queen, reminding us of our rich popular musical recent past. Last night his parlour in the Prince Albert was a hot and sweaty one, crowded with Brighton’s finest groomed moustaches, elegant coiffeurs – and a few shaggy beards and tattoos who had sidled in possibly seeking sartorial guidance.
While we attended the arrival of Mr B, a bunch of blokes who appear to have spent rather too much time watching retro television on YouTube warmed us up. Despite their moderately shabby appearance, Dream Themes delighted the assembled throng with rocking renditions of antiquated TV theme tunes.
Most of the audience really should have had no idea what they were listening to – the Rockford Files, Brookside, the A Team, Dallas and The South Bank Show to name a few dead serials. Were the shadows of recognition flickering across youthful faces a sad social indicator of much time wasted on TV Gold or the sign of a fully rounded cultural education?
Immaculately groomed, Mr B then graced the stage brandishing his banjolele, in complete command of the DJ hitting it with his backing tracks, and enunciating clearly. He is a man singularly responsible for demonstrating to the chattering classes that the street sounds of ‘hip hop’ can be rendered palatable to the drawing room.
We were guided on a hazy journey through the disparate 90s youth that, it seemed, has informed the development of chap hop. The unfortunate fate of a chumrade is charted in Songs for Acid Edward, and a poppier medley, Sherry Cakes and Belly Aches – samples Soup Dragons, Blur, Primal Scream and other iconic Brit-ish tunes. The throng are provoked to cut shapes like its 1995, only a bit more genteel.
Things really get moving with a knee bending sing-a-long to ‘More Kissing in Porn, we’re British’, and delving deeper into musical history, and abroad, The Model, had every handy in the house in the air.
Gosh, it was very exhausting, and a nice cup of tea was well deserved by all. Everyone needed to take Mr B’s parting advice and head home for a jolly good kip.