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Rubberbandits, Mental Deficiency - Stiff Kitten, Belfast

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ATL | 13:48 UK time, Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Rubberbandits with support from Mental Deficiency
Stiff Kitten, Belfast
Friday, July 29th

We check our coats and all sense of reason at the door on the way into the Stiff Kitten tonight as we look forward to a night of sheer insanity. Judging by the look of sections of the crowd, more than a few pre-gig drinks have been enjoyed, and there’s even a guy dancing on his own when the music’s not even playing. It’s going to be a messy one.

Support tonight comes from local lads Mental Deficiency, who are as close to being the illegitimate lovechild of Spinal Tap and Electric Six as it is possible to be. Desperate for attention, with ridiculous hand made props and insane lyrics, they very thoughtfully provide us with glasses so we can watch the gig in 3D. In all the madness it would be easy to overlook the fact that these guys are actually good musicians, managing to leap around the stage in their morphsuits and pyjamas, and run through the crowd without missing a note. 'I, living dead' sees the audience dancing like zombies, and one dedicated fan carries on his own one-man ‘Thriller’ dance for the entire song, much to our amusement. Our funny bones have been thoroughly tickled in anticipation of the main event.

DJ Willie O’ DJ comes onstage first to unveil the Rubberbandits’ banner in a plethora of fireworks, flashing lights and smoke (In reality, he unhooks a velcro strip and it falls down from the roof, but it was still very funny!). Opening track ‘I Wanna Fight Your Father’ is a song about young love and a girl called Roisin. It’s played twice during the set, this first time in Irish. The thick Limerick accents do take a bit of getting used to, but they only add to the comedy of the songs.

The Rubberbandits are not for the easily offended, and nothing is off limits tonight. One of their signature songs attempts to parody “armchair republicanism”, giving a comedy local round-up of who’s ready to support the cause, including Colin Murray, Rory McIlroy, Nadine Coyle, and – most preposterously – Ian Paisley. It’s near the knuckle stuff, but there’s a point being made beneath he posturing and the carrier bags on their heads. Then there’s some bad rave dancing and our personal favourite, ‘Westlifing’ which involves facing away from the crowd and swaying for the keychange.

Perhaps what’s most enjoyable about the Rubberbandits is that they’re two mates having a laugh, who clearly love what they do. Their lyrics, while often filthy, are often smart, always funny, and worryingly a bit too true for many young gig goers. They apparently have nowhere to stay tonight, so invite themselves to sleep on any girl’s couch, before kicking into ‘Horse Outside’. The banter between the two masked bandits and their DJ onstage is hilarious. You’ll have to trust us on that though, seeing as they use profanity like punctuation we can’t really print any of it.

Carrie Davenport


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