Friday, 30 November 2012

Chap-hop revenge

At first glance, Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer might appear to be some sort of novelty artist. The outfits who mix the ridiculously conservative with the plain ridiculous, the humorous covers of vintage hip hop hits and so on are certainly funny.

And to be sure, Mr. B is simultaneously parodying and paying homage to hip hop, a genre of music that surely deserves both. But he is also so much more. Lord Bassington-Bassington has loved Mr. B for a few years now, and would surely ahve grown tired of him now if there wasn't something deeper.

(Photo by Dan Fullerton McIntyre.)

The secret is, of course, that this isn't a joke. While anyone who has been lucky enough to meet Mr B will know, the man has an immense sense of humour about himself (after all, he is an Englishman!) he also takes his craft very seriously. And having been a musician and performer for more than two decades, it shows in his compositions and in his live performances.

Chap-hop is no more a fad than, say, rockabilly. And Mr. B's new video is the ultimate proof of that. It alone would be enough to make him an artist worth sitting up from one's Chesterfield and take notice of. And as Mr. B is the hardest working man in chap-hop, he will just keep getting better.

By the way, the video reminds Lord Bassington-Bassington that it's high time to get a pocket watch to go with his three-piece tweeds. More about that later.


Lord Bassington-Bassington's good friend Mr. Huseby has a new video out for his project S(ermo) III. His Lordship thinks it's splendid stuff, and very seasonal, as the Yuletide is Lovecraft season here at Bassington Manor.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Judging from Lord Bassington-Bassington’s interest in his whiskers and his taste for combining charity with style, one could reasonably suspect that Movember – where men all over the world grow moustaches for charity during November – would be right up His Lordship’s alley. And sure, Movember has a lot to recommend it. It makes men try moustaches, and charity is a good thing.

So why does Lord Bassington-Bassington have such mixed feelings about Movember?

Frank Sinatra once remarked that he never drank on New Year's, because that was amateur night. This contrarianism might have something to do with His Lordship’s views on Movember. After all, Sinatra probably wouldn't grow a moustache in November either, and when it comes to style it's usually a good idea to take tips from Ol' Blue Eyes.

There is also a deeper reason. While Basset hounds of both sexes have magnificent whiskers, in the human, moustaches are about being a man and proud of it. So it is hardly surprising that moustaches tend to thrive in cultures where traditional masculine values are held in regard. But what does Movember do to this powerful symbol of masculinity? The picture below, shared by Movember Norway on Facebook, shows precisely what.

Yes, this chap is sporting a snappy moustache, but what on Earth is he wearing? The outfit looks like it was purchased in a joke shop, fancy dress outfitter or – even worse – hipster boutique.

Instead of a proud man, with the soup strainer the final touch to a self-assured masculinity, he looks like someone posing for a giggle. So what we see is that Movember makes moustaches – and thereby manhood – into a joke.

Lord Bassington-Bassington won’t be going quite as far as the people over at No-vember, who recommends that one dispense with the lip weasel altogether. No, His Lordship recommends that if you have mustaches and whiskers, celebrate them all year round. If you're normally smooth-cheeked, don't stop it because it's suddenly not October anymore.

And just like your personal style preference, charity is an all-year thing. Here at Bassington Manor, we have our favourite charitable causes. More about those later.