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Interview: Banter with a Bandit

Following the success of The Rubberbandits pilot episode of their new Channel 4 series, Emma Conroy was able to track down one half of the duo, Blind Boy Boat Club to see how they were feeling and what they’d have done about things had Michael Noonan called in sick this morning….

Since catapulting on to the scene a couple of years ago the plastic bag faced duo The Rubberbandits have been working flat-out, delivering some of the most original and unusual comedy anyone has seen since ‘Fawlty Towers’ and ‘The Mighty Boosh’. The lads hail from Limerick City (kid) and their self-deprecating humor along with musical and lyrical prowess has ensured them a secure place at the top of the contemporary comedy ladder.

To date they have an impressive number of comedy festivals under their belts, including performances at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where this year they were presented with the Malcolm Hardee ‘Most Original Act on the Fringe’ award. On the T.V side of things they’ve come a long way from their appearance slots on RTÉ’s ‘Republic of Telly’.

Last year they wrote and performed three comedy ‘blaps’ for Channel 4 whose success resulted in a series being commissioned; for this project the Bandits enlisted the help of former ‘Father Ted’ director Declan Lowney. The pilot for the series aired last Saturday night and was instantly trending on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve been wondering about yourself and Mr. Chrome, have you been thinking about the budget or worrying about it? I suppose it won’t really make much of a difference to ye now that ye’re making the big cash monies.

We’re not making the big cash monies we make industrial wages, we’re Communists. I’d be a bit worried about the plastic bag levy cause they’re definitely gonna bring that up, and the price of fags.  What’s happening with cigarettes is that they’re gonna put the price of fags up so much that they’re just gonna drive everyone to the black market to buy those rotten Polish cigarettes, you know those fake Marlboro ones? -Yeah? – Sure there’s all sorts of things in there, you’d have diesel inside of them like. Smoking is bad enough for you like but if you want smoking that’s really bad for you buy those fake fags that you get in Cable Street.

There’ll probably be green diesel in them as well, not even the good kind of diesel.

There could be ya there could be green diesel in ‘em; there could be anything, d’you know what I mean? I heard they smuggle children inside of those cigarettes, and prostitutes.

Well you wouldn’t think to look in there I suppose! Have you heard of the sugar tax, or ‘Fat Tax’ as it’s become more popularly known?

A sugar tax? Oooh they’re taxing foods with high calories!

Junk foods yeah, cause the stats say that one in every four primary school kids are obese, one in every twenty teens and sixty per cent of adults so they’re pretty serious figures.

I think it’s a brilliant idea, I think it’s a fantastic idea because in the United States they have a problem whereby it’s the opposite; the food for lower-income families, the cheapest stuff is actually the stuff with loads of sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, that type of stuff. So it’s be nice in this country if you want to buy treats and things that are bad for you, you have to have a bit of money

There’s a correlation between like people’s mental health and nutrition so, if you have people on low incomes and on top of that they’re eating shit and they’re feeling shit, then you can end up with an absolute terrible situation like Brazil, you know what I mean? The gaps between the poverty and the rich become wider, so, absolutely.

Couldn’t you end up with a black market for sweets and chocolate then though?

You totally could. You’d have people selling Dairy Milks from underneath their sleeves; and then you’d have the fake Dairy Milks.

And you wouldn’t want cheap Polish chocolate coming in..

See Polish chocolate would be made out of turf and coal and salt.

Right well c’mere, if Michael Noonan called in sick now this week and it was up to yourself and Mr. Chrome to do the budget, what kind of budget could we expect from ye if ye were in charge?

We’d print twice as much money. My knowledge of economics says that would work perfectly…I don’t have a huge knowledge of economics.

Could you go over to Germany and put that to Angela Merkel, see what she says?

You could, you could. I think what they should do is reclaim the euro; the Americans have a situation whereby their currency, instead of being valued against gold a lot of it is valued against oil, it’s called the petrol dollar, so we should reclaim all the oil and gas that we have off Donegal and then create the Irish natural gas dollar. That would sort out the national debt without a doubt, it would sort out at least half of it anyway if we had some of that ‘eye-il’. Just go out into the sea there and start sucking the oil out of the ground.

You reckon we could just siphon is off it we got a big enough pipe?

Siphon it off man, get every one of your friends in Donegal to go out for a swim and get a mouthful of oil and if enough of ye do it ye could spit it into a bucket in Dublin and rob it on the sly. – We’ll keep it under wraps for the time being, until we get it done and it’s too late for Shell Hahahaha

You’ve been in the UK filming the new series for Channel 4, the pilot aired over the weekend and was hugely successful, it’s been trending all over.

It got accidentally deleted off YouTube this morning, unfortunately. - Oh no!Ya cause of a YouTube error so we have to restart all that again, but like it was the most successful video on Channel 4′s YouTube over the weekend anyway. So that’s very good.

Yeah, it was very good. So what do people have to look forward to in the new series, I know that ye worked with Declan Lowney of ‘Father Ted’ fame..

I’m not allowed say anything yet..

Oh okay, so it’s all hush-hush?

It’s all cloak and daggers. I can’t say a word. The pilot is the only thing I’m allowed comment on.

Okay, but can we expect to see any more new characters apart from Larry Starr and Choppy Nagle?

I’d love to, I’d love to have as many…I was thinking about a fella called Fr. Suntan, who’s a blind priest.

You could go a lot of places with that!

He was addicted to solar eclipses.

That’d be a tough addiction to keep up wouldn’t it?

It’d be an awful addiction to keep up; imagine the price of flights, flying all over the world for solar eclipses like.

After a bit more banter Blind Boy revealed that Willie O’Dea would not be joining the Bandits for Christmas dinner this year, as he’d be off in Malta ‘to buy some magnets’ and I was left in no doubt that whatever lies in store with the new series, we won’t be disappointed.

*Lead image courtesy of ramp.ie
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About Emma Conroy

Finishing up a Masters in Radio and TV Production at NUIM. Adores cynicism and people who take themselves too seriously. Main areas of interest include news and current affairs, in particular what the mainstream media don't cover. LIfe's goal: to be involved in a coup, of any kind.

One comment on “Interview: Banter with a Bandit

  1. Solar eclipses! I laughed so hard at that!

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