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Rubberbandits, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh


The Gilded Balloon’s nightclub is rarely used for its intended purpose during the Fringe, but the boisterous Irish outfit, and YouTube smashes, Rubberbandits warrant it. Their fans, some of whom have come with plastic bags over their heads to mimic their heroes’ attire, have come to dance as well as to laugh.

“We’re not comedy, we’re gangsta rap” protests the Limerick duo; in reality, they are both. You might describe their genre as ‘feral funk’, their underclass street vibe owing a debt to both House of Pain and Goldie Lookin’ Chain.

Though they sing live, with limited and corny banter in between, the group is somewhat upstaged by their YouTube videos screening above them. It’s hard to take your eyes off the goofing-around of, for example, ‘Black Man’, a song about recruiting another ethnic minority to their already diverse street gang.

Some of their songs have a tender sensitivity (including ‘Spoiling Ivan’ about the innocent relationship between a grown man and young boy), while some steadfastly do not such as ‘Bag of Glue’, a song offering advice on the stimulants required to carry off a one night stand with someone who is overweight.

There’s quite a gulf between the high of their rug-pulling hit ‘Horse Outside’ and some of their back catalogue, but their energy and the fire of ideas is consistent.

 Until 26 August, 0131 622 6552