Let’s get this out of the way. “Comedy hip-hop” sounds like the worst idea in the world. We’ve all seen countless Youtube videos of rappers unwittingly fall into that category by attempting to grasp a slice of the American dream even though they live in places like Armenia. So Rubberbandits are up against it already. Transposing Limerick “thug life” into hip-hop which is both belly-achingly funny, crass and highly intelligent is no mean feat but this plastic-bag wearing duo walk the line perfectly. They have the tunes to back it up too and i’ll wager there’s no-one producing better hip-hop now in this country than the Rubberbandits.
The show is criminally under-attended but it’s not our loss. Tonight we see the best comedy musical show in Ireland right now. From the hash-leaf pendants to the shellsuit-tracksuits to Bob Marley references, it’s the minutiae of Irish young largely-clueless wannabe gangstas that makes this so funny. ‘Up The Ra’ is a case in point; a ribbing sendup of that Irish lad who is passionate about the IRA second only to supporting Manchester United which live is given an extra boost by two balaclava drummers and an extensive comedic list of people in the RA including Obi Wan Kenobi, Karl Marx, L Ron Hubbard, Brendan Gleeson, Sonia O’ Sullivan and Eric Clapton.
There are festive songs involving breakdancing reindeers, a hilarious R&B tune with the chorus of “Roisin / I want to fight your father”, an appearance of a RoboGarda from Templemore to interrupt the show, Willie O’ Dea-J, a rousing rendition of ‘Bags of Glue’ and most incredulously of all – a surprise performance of ‘Aon Focal Eile’ by Richie Kavanagh himself. Pure brilliance. Chalk it down.
Photos by Damien McGlynn.