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Review: Rubberbandits

'HORSE Outside' was the unlikely anthem of Ireland's winter of discontent. Somewhere between novelty rap, 'Father Ted' agitprop and a post-nightclub row gone weirdly awry, the song struck a chord with a nation awash with existential gloom.

Amid the high farce attending the IMF's arrival, how appropriate an F-bomb-larded rap by two men with plastic bags glued to their faces should become our 'Anarchy in the UK'.

The success of 'Horse Outside' has, however, presented Rubberbandits with a conundrum. Where do you go after two million YouTube views? Starting out as phone pranksters and progressing into a comedy musical act, the duo surely never expected they'd achieve pop legitimacy.

Ought they treat the whole thing as an ongoing post-modern prank? Or as a springboard for a proper career? If the Beastie Boys could get to 'Paul's Boutique' from '(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)' why shouldn't Rubberbandits attempt a similar evolution?

For now, they appear determined to have it both ways. A little after 11.30pm, Mr Chrome and Blindboy Boat Club step on stage bemasked and partly undressed, the former's boxer shorts peeking above his jeans.

Like a sort of ghetto-spawned D'Unbelievables, they stay in character, dousing the audience with jokey expletives and Limerick slang rendered in accents just shy of pastiche.

Flanking them are DJ 'Willie O'Dea' and a cast of backing vocalists and skimpily clad dancers, plastic bags over their faces and beer bellies in full, inglorious view. Later 'Enda Kenny' joins by video link-up and turns the air blue with swear words.

There's lot of filler before 'Horse Outside'. 'Too Many Gee', 'Eamon de Valera' and 'Up The Ra' are in the vaguely chuckle-worthy tradition of joke rap bands such as Goldie Lookin' Chain.

Some of their rhymes are funny; many confuse coarseness for wit. It would be a disservice to describe the Rubberbandits as 'Killinaskully' for the alcopop generation but at moments their recourse to provincial archetypes crosses from brilliant satire to lowbrow comedy.

Irish Independent