Music hall rapper gets Islington crowd rocking

PUBLISHED: 16:24 21 November 2011

The crowd loved Ida Barr's hip hop stylings

The crowd loved Ida Barr's hip hop stylings


A group of over-55s were left chanting hip-hop classics by one of the most unusual acts in town, Ida Barr, who fuses old-time music hall with gangster rap.

The gig, organised by the Claremont Centre in White Lion Street, Islington, on November 4, saw Ida, resplendent in period costume, belt out music hall standards with a hip-hop twist.

The hippest granny in town – whose album Get Old or Die Tryin’ features lyrics about home help, flu jabs and falls– proceeded to get the crowd doing the hokey cokey and a conga to rap.

Chris Greene, the man behind Ida Barr, said: “The show went well and it was a lot of fun.

“There were about 70 people there and I think they all enjoyed it.

“I literally spent the first 15 minutes discussing my outfit. I did a mash up of If You Were the Only Girl (In the World) by Nat D. Ayer with lyrics by Clifford Grey with Only Girl (In The World) by Rihanna.

“It was great to hear an older crowd singing along.

“Because I’m mashing up some heavy RnB tracks, I occasionally have to speak over the swearing.

“I could just cut it out but I like the challenge.

“Although there was one show in Trafalgar Square where I didn’t make it in time and a swearword blasted out of the speakers. Luckily, no one notced.”

Molly Stevenson, creative director of the Claremont Project, said: “It was a blast, he was great and we all had a great time.”

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