Friday, 1 June 2012

All Hail the Chap!

As promised in the last post, we did indeed go to see Mr B last night... we also managed to secure a sneaky chat and a picture with the finest purveyor of chap-hop before his recital.  

We arranged to meet Mr B outside the Colchester Arts Centre before the doors opened (after we had indulged in the obligatory G&T obviously), and for the most unknown of reasons I decided to lure him into the graveyard behind the Arts Centre to ask him our questions.  He is a jolly nice chap and didn't seem too phased by this random suggestion, so this is where we interviewed him.  Mr B was sporting traditional brown corduroy slacks, a rather dapper grey herringbone waistcoat, a natty crisp white shirt with his exclusive club tie.  I say!  Quite the Chap.

So Mr B, you've come down to sunny Colchester to entertain us Essex lot, do we meet the high standards of The Chap?

You're a bit of a lairy bunch, last time I was performed here there were two stage invasions.  I understand they have security now so that shouldn't be a problem. 

The Chap Code is obviously very important to you (featuring in the jaunty "All Hail the Chap" which opened the performance that night) if you were to write a code for the Lady what would it include?

Strangely enough, that is covered in a song from my new album, which I will play this evening for you- it's called "Curtsey For Me".  Enough said, you'll hear it later.  Although, a woman once said to me there are no ugly women, only lazy ones. (Lesley's Girls tend to agree with this sentiment- although the same can be said for gentlemen too)

You're obviously a dapper gent, where do you get your clothes- are they original vintage, off the peg or bespoke tailored?

Well, it's a bit of a mish-mash of all sorts really.  Some tailored, some off the peg, a bit of vintage.  Sometimes I might splash out and get something really snazzy.  You're a chap when you go to a charity shop and you head straight for the ties, and you know when you're getting old when you feel the fabric of a t-shirt rather than look at what's printed on the front of it.

Sing-along : All Hail the Chap
You're stuck in the wilds of Essex when you are confronted by three ungentlemanly ruffians, what do you do next?

First I would make bally sure I had my umbrella with me. Umbrella? Why?!  Well I have been told about  bartitsu, the Victorian martial art form of combat with an umbrella.  I need to learn it, it has been on my list for some time.  Mr B then told us of a fellow chap who employed this method to some success during an attempted robbery. 

Apart from entertaining us here tonight, how do you intend to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee?

Well I'm off to Frome near Bath tomorrow, then Leeds after that, followed by Cardiff.  I shall probably sleep through most of it. You don't fancy any of the street parties?  Oh I may pop along if I'm there but I shall no doubt sleep through that as well.

You play quite a diverse range of music, are they all your musical preferences or simply tunes that sound good on a banjolele? Such as Orbital's "Chime" on "Songs for Acid Edward".

When I cover something it is always something I like.  The Oribital track was quite an effort to learn.  During the Madchester medley they are all rock songs with the same few chords, while dance songs are all over the place.  There is a sense of achievement when one plays something on the banjolele that was intended for the keyboard.

Some people give their cars a name, have you named your banjolele yet?

Ah good point.  No not yet... I have so many of them.  I worry about giving them personalities because sometimes I abuse them, and it would be ungentlemanly to abuse something with a name.

We are pleased to report that the show was a triumph, opening with "All Hail the Chap" and "Chap-Hop History".  Followed by a selection of songs from the new album,  including "Curtsey for Me" as promised, and "Edward's Dilemma" and some familiar ditties including his closing number "Songs for Acid Edward".   The Tweed Album is out on 18th June.

Thank you Mr B for a jolly good night out.  Finally, we can report that the current feud with Professor Elemental has apparently been settled over a cup of tea and a glass of sherry, although future "chap-offs" have not been ruled out.


  1. Great interview (from a reader on the Essex border) - will have to check out Mr. B's tunes now.

    1. Despite the Essex reputation we do sometimes get some good stuff down here from time to time don't we?! Glad you enjoyed!



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