not a member? click here to sign up
Bloody noses, crash cymbals and Frankie Boyle. It’s all in a day’s work for sketch comedy heroes Foil, Arms and Hog.
Dave Hanratty, 11 Apr 2012
Sketch-based humour is arguably the runt of the live comedy circuit litter, its quirky structure perhaps more suited to television, where quickfire edits and canned laughter can help get the joke over. In the live arena, solo stand-up turns tend to rule the roost under the spotlight, and while sketch comedy enjoys its fair share of laughs from the gallery, it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that those cackles are generally easier to draw by donning a persona with a pre-existing fanbase, such as Steve Coogan’s brilliant Alan Partridge or the many impressions of Mario Rosenstock.
Energetic Irish troupe Foil, Arms and Hog seem to thrive on the added pressure of facing audience preconceptions, their brand of onstage hijinks winning over crowds at home and abroad. Innovative, unpredictable and interactive – heckles aren’t feared and are actively encouraged – the Dublin-based trio are fully aware that their chosen brand of mirth isn’t for everyone.
“It does have a strange reputation,” admits Sean ‘Hog’ Flanagan, so nicknamed after his penchant for thieving the best characters and jokes for himself, a trait he gleefully admits still exists. “People are like, ‘Oh, sketch comedy? That’s just some English prats on stage in period costumes using really long words in really long sentences… no thanks!’ But it’s not that! At least not how we do it.”
Flanagan’s appreciation for comedy came not as a result of staying up late to watch comedians on TV but rather as a defence mechanism to ward off school bullies. While quick to dismiss the notion that stand-up is a form of therapy for those who practice the art, he concedes that he possesses something of a mean streak.
“My own style of humour is maybe a little bit more dark than the other two guys,” he laughs. “I’m probably the violent, sexualised and harsh comedian of the group. Maybe I’m the Frankie Boyle? There’s a bit of Frankie Boyle in all of us really. He rears his ugly head from time to time.”
Latest Articles by Dave Hanratty
Second time's a charm for trippy us trio...
LA rockers' touching if uneven tribute...
Evocative, hopeful outing from brooklyn Troubadour...
Disarming about-face from former girls man
Back from hiatus and ready to rock once more, Matchbox Twenty have just topped the charts Stateside. Guitarist Kyle Cook explains how his move behind the desk helped shape his band’s first record in ten years.
2012-10-25 - Interview
With album number three making a big impression, Newton Faulkner is at the top of his game. He talks style, looping and the importance of writing with the live audience in mind.
2012-10-05 - Reports
A return to form for supermassive prog rockers
2012-10-03 - REVIEW
One year on from their Play On The Day triumph, Leaders Of Men have the world at their feet. Frontman Brian Ashe explains why success won’t change them.
2012-10-03 - Interview
Back with a Bang, Des Bishop discusses his most technical show to date and how Alcoholics Anonymous inspired an upcoming project.
2012-10-01 - Interview
Writer’s block? You’ll be feline fine in no time…
2012-09-21 - News
Now a regular on Dublin’s Radio Nova, rock veteran Rick Wakeman gives his thoughts on the station, Lou Reed’s recording habits and the importance of classic instruments.
2012-09-12 - Reports
Electro outfit's sophomore effort reveals an interesting conflict
2012-09-04 - REVIEW
Adam Levine & co. embrace pop extravagance with aplomb.
2012-07-31 - REVIEW
Barely out of school and determined to make as much noise as possible, Wonder Villains appear to have this whole pop thing figured out.
2012-07-26 - Interview
Back after an unwanted period in the wilderness, Derry noisemakers Fighting With Wire have something to prove. Bassist Jamie King talks the next step and why guitars will never go out of style.
2012-07-25 - Interview
New York mc returns to the fray
2012-06-20 - REVIEW
Fresh from releasing their debut album, Cork noisemakers Time Is A Thief are ready to make their mark. Bassist Michael Murphy talks studio, stage and why nu-metal wasn’t so bad after all.
2012-05-31 - Interview
Shock rocker returns to form
2012-05-29 - REVIEW
Fresh from a European tour and ready to conquer their homestead, psychedelic two-piece Last Days Of 1984 talk about their new album, the state of synth-pop and (nearly) rubbing shoulders with their heroes.
2012-05-25 - Interview
American indie trio continue to stand still
2012-05-24 - REVIEW
And So I Watch You From Afar have established themselves as one of the most exciting and technically sound acts in the world. Guitarist Rory Friers talks influences, electronics and pays homage to a slightly unlikely guitar hero.
2012-05-14 - Interview
Still in his teens, he’s one of television’s hottest properties – but for Jack Gleeson, it seems there’s more to life than red carpets and critical acclaim.
2012-05-04 - Frontlines
Powered by the spirit of Lizzy & Led Zep, Wicklow stadium-rockers-in-waiting Children Of The Son are on a roll. Dave Hanratty meets a band ready for the big time.
2012-04-04 - Interview
We’ve scoured the length and breadth of the country to deliver 12 essential tracks that could very well prove the soundtrack to your summer. Best of all, it’s completely free! Producer Dave Christophers and Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters man Shane Serrano tell us all about it...
2012-04-03 - Interview
Irish production house Creative Sounds is responsible for some of the entertainment industry’s most successful design and marketing projects. Founder Lee Walsh discusses the state of the art…
2012-03-28 - Frontlines
Having called time on his Republic Of Loose career, Cormac ‘Bres’ Breslin is learning to love music again alongside his sister Orla in new venture Cars Love Girls. words Dave Hanratty
2012-03-27 - Interview
Eclectic noise merchants Grand Pocket Orchestra are back with a new album. They talk recording and action movie weapons of yesteryear with Dave Hanratty
2012-03-07 - Interview
EARLY CONTENDER FOR ALBUM OF THE YEAR FROM ENDURING PROG-ROCK OUTFIT
2012-02-29 - REVIEW
As the Occupy Dame Street protest continues, local businesses say they are suffering as a direct result of the movement.
2012-02-14 - Frontlines
Three years ago, Delorentos split following the release of their second album. but now they’ve returned with little sparks - which might JUST be their greatest record yet
2012-02-08 - Interview
What do Star Wars, the GAA and the legend of Cúchulainn have in common? They’re all part of a wicked concoction that make up the must-see stage musical of the spring; The All Star Wars.
2012-02-08 - Frontlines
Three years ago, Delorentos split following the release of their second album. but now they’ve returned with little sparks - which might JUST be their greatest record yet.
2012-01-31 - Interview
Producer, musician, occasional dancer – Cork electro-hound Toby Kaar is a man of many tricks and talents. 2012 could be his year, once he gets that pesky degree out of the way…
2012-01-12 - Interview
As Primal Scream prepare for their massive Dublin O2 show on December 29, guitarist Andrew Innes reflects on losing Mani to the Roses, where to next for his own band, the brothers Gallagher and why he’s dying to work with Kevin Shields again.
2011-12-19 - Interview
As bestselling author John Connolly wraps up a lengthy US promotional tour, he reflects on his most recent work, how genre fiction can make a difference – and why he’s comfortable playing second fiddle to his greatest creation.
2011-12-05 - Interview
Sweeping instrumentals, hallucinations and Liam Neeson. It all adds up to one of Ireland’s most essential new bands. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Overhead, The Albatross.
2011-11-30 - Interview
Intriguing yet familiar new direction for former Coral man.
2011-11-29 - REVIEW
As The Hardy Bucks return to Irish screens, writer and actor Martin Maloney talks about what went into creating the new series – and why Ireland is so willing to laugh at itself.
2011-11-25 - Frontlines
As Jay-Z’s long-term engineer, Young Guru is responsible for precisely how the hip hop superstar sounds. Fresh from lending a hand to the next wave of talent at the Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid, he spoke to Dave Hanratty about the responsibilities of his job, the importance of education and why Public Enemy’s Chuck D was wrong to single his boss out for criticism.
2011-11-11 - Interview
Teenage metal tearaways Army Rising talk guitars, vocals and what went into recording their debut album.
2011-11-09 - Interview
2011-11-07 - REVIEW
(Double) Album of the year contender from French maestro.
2011-10-28 - REVIEW
As the Red Bull Music Academy kicks off in Madrid, Declan Lennon, aka superstar DJ in waiting Krystal Klear flies the flag for Ireland. He talks expectations, trends and the popularisation of dubstep with Dave Hanratty.
2011-10-28 - Interview
2011-10-11 - REVIEW
As plans to cut funding of the HSE Drugs Payment Scheme are re-activated, those affected are living in fear of the fall-out.
2011-10-11 - Frontlines
Mobile device designers HTC are targeting a previously neglected market with a very specific ambition: to make music sound the way the artist intended. Dave Hanratty travelled to Berlin to see what all the fuss is about.
2011-10-07 - Frontlines
For 31 year-old graphic designer Rob Gale, attention to detail is of paramount importance. In a competition that saw entries as wide-ranging as landscape photography and a sculpture of Phil Lynott, it was a vibrant but carefully-focused illustration that impressed above all else.
2011-10-07 - Interview
Interview and track from our Bulmers Berry 'Music' winners.
2011-10-06 - Interview
Ahead of his Irish tour, punk troubadour Frank Turner talks riots, politics and selling out.
2011-10-03 - Interview
Retro-flavoured stomp from L.A. girl group
2011-10-03 - REVIEW
With live performances by Bell X1, Maverick Sabre and The Charlatans...
2011-09-23 - News
Hollywood loves him. Traditionalists hate him. His widescreen approach to non-fiction has courted controversy and generated millions in both book and box-office receipts. Dave Hanratty meets Ben Mezrich, rock star author.
2011-09-15 - Interview
Winning solo debut from Ex- Blizzard.
2011-09-13 - REVIEW
Faris Badwan of The Horrors discusses his band’s new direction and explains how they crafted one of the year’s finest records.
2011-09-08 - Interview
Having spent the last few years taking up the mantle of his hero Bruce Springsteen with The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon is ready to launch his new project, The Horrible Crowes.
2011-09-08 - Interview
New York trio add melancholy to the mix.
2011-08-30 - REVIEW
Ahead of their forthcoming Electric Picnic appearance, Stuart Braithwaite of Scottish instrumental pioneers Mogwai talks arthouse cinema, Twitter and, er, Joey Barton.
2011-08-29 - Interview
When the Northern Irish government announced plans late last year to cut over £4 billion from its overall budget, the arts community wondered how they would be affected. With the first stage of a planned four years of cuts now underway and differing opinions emerging, are things as bleak as they seem?
2011-08-25 - Frontlines
Sophomore effort from UK dream-punk outfit misses the mark.
2011-08-25 - REVIEW
Why so serious?
2011-08-23 - REVIEW
The next step in world domination.
2011-08-23 - REVIEW
Ahead of his performance at the Iveagh Gardens for the Vodafone Comedy Festival this month, acclaimed comic Stewart Francis talks to Dave Hanratty about style, sweat and why you shouldn’t follow him on Twitter.
2011-07-18 - Interview
Guns, serial killers and Ted Nugent. All in a day’s work for bright young thing Alex Winston.
2011-07-13 - Interview
An exciting new opportunity for creative artists has surfaced, which may provide the financial backing needed to turn dreams into a reality. Dave Hanratty takes a closer look.
2011-07-13 - Frontlines
Illusionist, magician, mentalist of the year: Ireland’s top trickster – now that Bertie Ahern has retired – goes by many monikers, appears in many guises and speaks in many tongues. But Keith Barry is no Devil, even if he may have attempted to summon the horned one in the past.
2011-07-12 - Frontlines
The screaming audience is putty in Robbie Williams' hands
2011-06-30 - REVIEW
The gloves are off as Damien Richardson prepares to lead his Airtricity XI side to glory in the inaugural Dublin Super Cup. “This is no-holds-barred,” he tells Dave Hanratty.
2011-06-22 - Frontlines
Could love + marriage = loss of identity?
2011-06-22 - REVIEW
The Meath singer transfixes the audience with her stunning ethereal voice.
2011-06-17 - REVIEW
13 Trinity Street,
Rep. Of Ireland
Tel: +353 (1) 241 1500
Click here for more contact information.
Click here to find out more about Hot Press
Hot Press always welcomes feed back so if you've got something to tell us click here.
Advertise With Us
For more detail on how to advertise with Hot Press click here or call us on +353 (1) 241 1540