We look back at the week the Rubberbandits finally captured the imagination of the Irish media. Chalk it down.
Most importantly, today is the day to start buying the Rubberbandits single Horse Outside to make it Christmas number one. There’s been a massive push for them so far and they’ve been number one before but Christmas number one is the real deal. Click here to do your civic duty. Or make your way to a shop to buy the physical single.
Ignoring the idea that anonymity is part of what makes the Rubberbandits funny, the Daily Mail posted a picture of the “Rubberbandits Unmasked.” The Independent then ran a long story further expanding on the back story of the men behind the Rubberbandits. One wonders why the Irish media have respected the “secret identities” of the various puppeteers behind Zig and Zag and Dustin (only revealed when he did poorly at the Eurovision) and yet felt so eager to try and spoil the Rubberbandits almost the instant they got some mainstream success. In an apparent attempt to discredit the Rubberbandits’ street cred, the story reported that the main sport in their school on the “very plush” Ennis road in Limerick was rugby. Welcome to Limerick, Indo.
Anyone who enjoys the Rubberbandits will have a pretty good idea that their humour is more along the lines of Flann O’Brien (surreal and hilarious use of weird Irish vernacular with a perfectly judged combination of seriousness and knowingness) than a simple crude attempt to shock and mock the disadvantaged in Limerick.
This misunderstanding was clearly shown on Liveline earlier this week.
Willie O’Dea defended the Rubberbandits on Liveline, the hub for Irish-people-not-getting-jokes, earlier this week when a disgruntled caller rang up to complain after taking the song literally. “I can laugh at myself. I was remorselessly lampooned by them and I didn’t ring you. They portray me selling hash and swearing on my ‘tash that it’s decent hash,” he said.
“If you don’t like it don’t watch it. I don’t support drug usage. I support a group that laughs at that. For heaven’s sake, get a life. If it gets to Number 1 for Christmas it will reflect well on Limerick.”
Then bandit Blindboy Boathouse rang up and became, pretty handily, the most articulate person ever to appear on Liveline. He moved with ease from clearly explaining why works of art aren’t made to be taken literally to hilarious lampooning the red-faced, aggressive and meaningless line of questioning Joe Duffy took. Upon Duffy asking who made the ‘Bandits take the swearing out of their song, Blindboy Boathouse answered “Derek Davis, personally”.
Joe Duffy spent the interview alternately trying to goad Blindboy into swearing, slagging off his non-Dublin accent, asking unrelated questions about “overseas investors” and apparently thinking there is a rapper called “60 Cent”.
After Liveline, Mr Chrome from the Rubberbandits spoke exclusively to Newswhip from a tent atop the RTE building. If you haven’t already, you can listen to that surreal trip into Mr Chrome’s mind right here.
The Rubberbandits rocked the Button Factory last night with a gig that was a little bit better attended than their last Christmas show. Click here for a review and pictures.
Many members of the Irish media continue to pitch the race for Christmas number one as The Rubberbandits versus X Factor winner Matt Cardle. Speaking at their Leinster house photoshoot, the ‘bandits explained they didn’t see it that way. “People keep talking about the X Factor , and we’ve never heard of it. We thought we saw it once but it might have been that One Foot in the Grave,” they said.
The Irish Times also ran an article to explain the Rubberbandits for those who have only recently become acquainted with them. It gave a fairly thorough history of the Rubberbandits although managing to ignore their first international coverage (full disclosure: I wrote it).
Ian O’Doherty made an attempt to defend the Rubberbandits against their mindless detractors in the Independent. He rightly pointed out the savage intelligence and musical dexterity that casually emerges in a lot of their music.
So watch the Late Late show tonight if you want to see the Rubberbandits top off what has been the busiest week of their careers.