Manchester hails the chap

G.M. Norton toddled over to The Lass ‘o’ Gowrie this week for a thoroughly enjoyable evening in the company of the superstar of chap-hop, Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer. Our resident gentleman takes up the reins…

Pub close-up

This week, Manchester welcomed Mr.B the Gentleman Rhymer as he returned to The Lass ‘o’ Gowrie drinking tavern for sixty minutes of chap-hop jollity. Billed as his final performance at the much-loved venue, I was sad to learn that the historic hostelry is to be closing its doors for the final time in January 2014.

Lass o gowrie

Filled with sadness at this regrettable news, thankfully Mr. B was on hand to lift the mood with a wonderful performance.

If you’re not already familiar with the work of Mr. B then quite simply, he is the inventor of a musical genre known as Chap-Hop. Through the medium of rap, he improves it somewhat by adding the winning combination of the Queen’s English and a banjolele. He also sports a rather magnificent lip weasel, even rivalling my effort.

Premiering ditties from his new long player, ‘Can’t Stop, Shan’t Stop’, in addition to this other arsenal of chap-hop classics, his loyal following (of which there are many) were quite literally bouncing in combined merriment.


The crowd favourite, ‘Hail the Chap!’ was promptly performed, reminding us of the ten rules from The Chap manifesto, including pearls such as “Thou shalt always doff one’s hat” and “Never fasten the lower button of one’s waistcoat”.

This was immediately followed by ‘Chap-Hop History’, which is essentially thirty years of rap music distilled into five minutes. An extraordinary and thoroughly entertaining feat. Mr. B, my hat is most certainly doffed at this effort.

Taking a sojourn from hip-hop for a moment, Mr. B turned his attention to the music from ‘Up t’t’t’t’North’. Parodying some of the greatest hits from Madchester’s illustrious past, it is refreshing to hear works including James’ ‘Sit Down’ and Primal Scream’s ‘Movin on Up’ given the banjolele treatment. The Manchester Medley culminated in a faultless interpretation of the Stone Roses’ ‘I am the Resurrection’. Afterwards, Mr. B remarked that Mani and John Squire should plot to play the songs one semitone up and not tell Ian. The bounder!


As with all good things, they must come to an end. But not without an encore, with ‘Songs for Acid Edward’ and ‘Straight out of Surrey’ giving the crowd a final hoorah.

The recital was performed with aplomb, covering a growing back catalogue of ditties that certainly had the crowd singing, rapping and dancing along at practically every possible moment.

It was a thoroughly entertaining evening (even if there was a delay owing to a naughty PA system). This is the second time I have had the pleasure of watching the master at work and will certainly be in the queue again when this Southern softie next travels up t’t’t’t’North.

Top hole, old stick.

Set list

1)      Adultery at Christmas

2)      Hail the Chap!

3)      Chap-hop History

4)      Curtsey for me

5)      The Model (Kraftwerk cover)

6)      Reasons to be unsuccessful (part one)

7)      Shelltoes or Brogues

8)      Edward’s Dilemma

9)      Oh, Santa!

10)  Manchester medley

11)  (I’ve no wish to) Keep it real

12)  More kissing in porn please, we’re British

13)  The impossible dream

14)  Do they know it’s Christmas?

15)  Songs for Acid Edward

16)  Straight out of Surrey

The latest long player, ‘Can’t Stop, Shan’t Stop’ is available to buy now.