Tuesday 12 December 2017

Horsin' around in bed with the bouncy Rubberbandits

Antonia Leslie gets in between the sheets with the Limerick duo and internet sensation

I HAVE just spent an hour in bed with the two sweetest people I've met in a long time. And I wasn't expecting it.

I hadn't anticipated being so bowled over by this hugely popular comedy hip-hop duo at all, at all. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I certainly didn't expect such impeccable manners, such wit, and such interesting observations about the world, and their little idiosyncrasies.

The conversation ranges from expected wisecracks and pisstakes about Limerick's promiscuous, drugged-up youth to discussions on subjects as diverse as the number of vertebrae in a giraffe's neck and the right balance of Assam or Darjeeling that creates the perfect breakfast tea. I can barely keep up as they banter, bouncing off each other like rubber balls -- never mind rubber bands.

As I climb on to the bed, I apologise for my grubby socks. "They are my dog-walking socks!" I plead. But they don't even look at my socks. Instead, Mr Chrome asks me, "What style o' dogs have you got?"

"I've four huskies."

Mr Chrome: "Oh, right on. They'd pull you around on a shopping trolley?"

Blind Boy Boat Club: "Do they always run away and try and get lost? They love doing that."

I nod.

Mr Chrome: "It would be easy to spot four huskies running down the road."

BBBC: "It would, like, and they howl as well."

Me: "You know a lot about huskies. Do you have one?"

Mr Chrome: "We have an encyclopedic knowledge of a number of subjects ... "

BBBC: " ... and huskies is one of them!"

Mr Chrome: "Snow and snow dogs ... what's the deal with the St Bernard's?"

BBBC: "That was the rum. There is a mistaken belief that rum would warm a man up when in fact it would only dehydrate."

Mr Chrome: "It would restrict your blood and you'd grow cold faster."

BBBC: "But you could rub it into your skin!"

Mr Chrome: "But even then, you'd only be making a fool of yerself in the snow you know."

BBBC: "You'd make a fool of yerself!"

Mr Chrome: "You'd make a fool of myself."

BBBC: "If a St Bernard came over to me and I was in the snow, I'd just latch on to him."

Mr Chrome: "Id get on his back and start cuddling him, for his warmth ... "

BBBC: "For his warmth and for the loneliness."

Mr Chrome: "I'd eat him too."

BBBC: "Existentialist loneliness ... you couldn't eat a St Bernard!"

Mr Chrome, "I'd eat his paws ... If I was starving I'd eat him and wash him down with his neck rum!"

My phone vibrates. It's a message from my best friend Doodle Kennelly. She had seen the lads in Tower Records the day before and was crazily starstruck.

It was Doodle who first introduced me to the Rubberbandit phenomenon, by posting their hit song and video Horse Outside on my Facebook page. She says to tell them that her father, Brendan Kennelly, is a huge fan and that they are the future of the Abbey Theatre.

I call her up. I pass the phone to Blind Boy Boat Club. "Alright Doodle?" he asks excitedly. "My ma wants to ride the bones off your da! It's the mind, women love the mind!"

Which is an interesting observation as I was just thinking the same thing about the two lads here. Young ones and older women alike seem hopelessly drawn to them.

Meanwhile, BBBC is charming the pants off Doodle down the phone.

"I'm serious about my ma and your da! When I was growing up I had nothing but 'Brendan Kennelly, Brendan Kennelly', to the point that my own father got so jealous that he'd go out in the morning with the dog and come back writing poems. His poems were terrible and really bizarre and strange. My da, right, he'd make us really uncomfortable. He'd walk in, right, and he'd been looking at crows outside on the electrical pylon."

Doodle: "That's wonderful!"

BBBC: "I thought it was wonderful as well, but my ma didn't like it. But my da used to put the dog -- we'd a small little Jack Russell -- in his hands and pretend he was reading the lines off the dog's chest. That's a true story. My da was a bit mad."

Doodle: "I saw you in Tower Records yesterday!"

BBBC: "Were you there? Did you see our giant lollipops?"

Doodle: "I nearly pulled up my top!"

BBBC: "Oh lovely, lovely, lovely ... we love... I like the odd tit signing. We enjoy doing that with all women. It's a nice reward."

Doodle: "Old women?"

Mr Chrome: "Any women."

BBBC: "I'll sign an old woman's tits if she wants... you can't be prejudiced about that one thing if you're going to go out there and sign a pair of tits. You can't be Diana Ross about it... like... you must go 'right I must accept all tits equally and they're all worthy of my penmanship'. It's essential."

Doodle: "I felt my inner groupie come alive so I ran out the door!"

BBBC: "Ah man, you shouldn't have gone off. There was a lovely romantic toilet upstairs ... you could have come up there with me! There's no need for doing that. If the inner groupie's coming out, embrace the inner groupie. It's part of who you are. You want to embrace all facets of yourself to be a complete human being."

He hands me the phone.

Doodle asks can she put it on Facebook that Blind Boy Boat Club offered to ride her in the jacks?

BBBC: "Definitely. It would be an honour."

Doodle: "I've never been so star struck in my life ... Fuck Bono... Come out tonight?"

Mr Chrome: "Oh she's mad for a bit of hoof tonight, so she is!

Doodle: "I have to go and have a cold shower!"

Me: "Well, I'm in bed with them!"

BBBC: "She's not lying!"

Doodle: "Lucky bitch!"

Me: "Yep, I'm interviewing them in bed. We're having a tea party!"

Doodle: "Have to go. Bye ... Sigh ... "

Mr Chrome: "Mad posh bird!"

BBBC: "Must be a posh bird thing ... the husky!"

Me: "I take it as a given I'm a posh bird too?"

Mr Chrome: "You have a castle!"

BBBC: "I love castles. Especially Norman Castles."

Mr Chrome: "The Normans were a mad laugh."

Me: "How long have you been going? As the Rubberbandits?"

Mr Chrome: "About three years, dancing with Mother Music. And doing gigs."

Me: "You write about sex and drugs a lot. Is this a sort of statement?"

BBBC, "Yes. We write about what we see ... or experience."

Me: "It said on Wikipedia that you're sort of social commentators, commenting about the over-use of drugs and the overindulgence of sex observed with the young things nowadays."

Mr Chrome: "Blind Boy Boat Club was on the radio, on Joe Duffy, and they were all ringing in complaining that we advocated drug taking. And BBBC was very good. He asked this one fella to go look up the word 'irony' in the dictionary!"

BBBC: "I think yer fella got the point."

Me: "And Song for Willie O'Dea. That's my favourite. How did that come about?"

Mr Chrome: "Well I first met Willie when I was seven years of age. He was canvassing and he called round to the house and my dog bit him, and he called my dog a c**t in front of me and I was only seven. That's my first experience of Willie. From then on it's been up and down."

BBBC: "A sort of roller coaster. He just kept following us round for ages. And then he got kicked out of the Cabinet, and that's when he decided to come and DJ with us."

Mr Chrome: "He was always DJing in his bedroom, and he was shit."

BBBC: "He was shit, but we put him on to Derek Davis and Derek gave him a few lessons and now he's DJing properly. He was the Minister for Defence. I don't know how you can fuck up looking after a fence."

Mr Chrome: "If your only job is to mind dat fence and you're mashed on yokes all day you will manage to fuck it up, because you think the fence is a monster."

BBBC: "And you keep trying to shift it!"

Me: "Really?"

BBBC: "No, not really. We made that one up too."

I give in. I'm hooked on the Rubberbandits. They are my new sex gods and my new official lethal drug.

Rubberbandits play the Tripod in Dublin on February 19, 2011. Tickets on sale now

Sunday Independent

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