Tuesday 16 October 2018

There's more to these 'Fellas' than you think

The Rubberbandits should really be awarded the Turner Prize

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

When you think of who the most original artists and thinkers are right now in Ireland, who the true heirs to Flann O'Brien are, your mind might not light immediately on Limerick pranksters and funnymen the Rubberbandits.

Even if you've seen their latest video Fellas, featuring a puppet of Gabriel Byrne encouraging lads to go out and f**k another fella, you might still dismiss them. On one level, the song has got great laugh-out-loud scatological lines like: "You've googled all the shemales while your missus was asleep/  And now it's time to muster up the spunk and take a leap/  starting with a sissy boy who's got a girly bum/  before you know it, you'll be f**king truckers by the ton".

But there is much more to them than that. There is a deep, dark undercurrent to the Rubberbandits. And there is a sense of situationism to it all. Why, for example, is the song sung in the video by a puppet of Gabriel Byrne? Is it a reference to Byrne's role as a psychoanalyst in In Treatment? We don't actually know. Which makes it all the better. Even if you're not a repressed homosexual married man, or even if you think you're not, there is something deeply unsettling bubbling under the hilarity of Fellas.

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