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Rubber Bandits are this generation’s finest all-singing, all-dancing arch-satirists and they’re here to stay.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 21 Oct 2011
I’m standing at the urinals in the Olympia Theatre’s toilets halfway through The Rubberbandits’ set, and the three gents to my right are singing in unison. “A bag for me, a bag for you, let’s get wrecked on bags of glue!” – though I don’t join in I’d have say it is indeed a catchy refrain. Too much information? Well, that about captures the brilliant essence of the bandits.
After last Christmas plenty of pundits were willing to write the Limerick lads off as a novelty act, destined to fade into the recesses of our festive memory. Thing is, to write a novelty hit, you need to be able to pen a tune. The other thing is, on tonight’s evidence, The Rubberbandits have a rake of them. The gig’s overegged, ‘wink wink aren’t encores rubbish?’ encore of ‘Horse Outside’ is inevitable and received with a roar, but songs of similar, if not superior, quality have come and gone in the hour and a bit before.
‘Bags Of Glue’ is clearly infectious enough to seep into the fellas’ jacks, ‘Danny Dyer’ is an impish, rapid-fire and altogether hilarious slice of garage and ‘I Want To Fight Your Father’ is bonafide pop gold.
With their “mother’s boyfriend” Willy O’DJ on the decks, Mr. Chrome and Blind Boy Boat Club have the musical chops to carry out this evening of comedy like a fully-fledged rock show. The real sweet spots are hit when they shackle an inventive, irony-laced lyric to an R&B banger. The protagonists they rap/helium-croon about are generally of the ‘mad-fer-it’ variety. Doing pills and going clubbing. Going nowhere fast and not really caring. They may unwittingly make-up a large slice of The Rubberbandits’ fanbase, but they’re a million miles from the well-versed and knowing duo onstage. The post-modernism drips off the Olympia walls almost unnoticed.
Subversive stuff for sure, constantly raising questions about where the line of decent actually lies. The most jarring piece of semi-genius comes in the form of gorgeous ballad ‘Spoiling Ivan’. The most tender thing they’ve written to date, it really is accomplished songwriting and is… about child molesters. Do you cringe at the dark horror of it all or simply enjoy the sumptuous melody? The rest of the set is altogether more raucous and, at a certain point on this Saturday night, you really have to drop the head-trip and pogo across the line. ‘Up The Ra’ imagines a global, celebrity-filled army of Irish soldiers, and perennial stand-out ‘Double Dropping Yokes With Eamon de Valera’ is already a comedy classic, aided by inspired onscreen visuals.