There are three phrases you need to understand the Irish hip-hop improv duo Abandoman. "I'm like y'know", "I gotta say" and "What can I say?" No need to memorise them, you'll be hearing them a lot. In fact, they feature in every composition the outfit conjures up.
Fifteen minutes in and I'm starting to wonder if I might be wrong in my view that the judges for this year's Hackney Empire New Act of the Year were duped by Abandoman's playing to the gallery, allowing them to steal the award. But no, I was right. There's just one string to the bow; get some details from the audience – the most unusual objects they have in their pockets or what jobs they do – and repeat it back to them in a rap stylee.
Rob Broderick is certainly a forceful frontman, while multi-instrumentalist James Hancox wears a fixed grin throughout, perhaps one of their best gags.
There's no denying that audiences are enjoying this interactive romp, but I'm afraid it left me out in the cold.
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