- 08 Dec 15
As the nation prepares to celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising, Limerick’s favourite sons have explored the events of 1916 through their own unique lens. Buckle up as we travel back in time with the Rubberbandits.
"We locked Tim Pat Coogan and Diarmaid Ferriter in a coal shed, and made them scrap over a key that was painted to look like an Irish flag. The recording of that conversation informed most of our historical research. So, it's fair to say that we have the inside story."
To give credit where it’s due, the Rubberbandits are usually on the ball. From their take on same-sex relationships immortalised in ‘Fella’ to their meditations on equine transportation, the head of the nail usually takes a solid hammering when Blindboy Boatclub and Mr Chrome are about. This Christmas, though, will see them entering relatively unchartered waters, and emerging as master historians of our time .
The Rubberbandits’ Guide to 1916 is not, of course, the first time the pair have dipped their toes into the murky waters of nationalism – ‘Up The Ra’ might have given away their own affiliations ahead of time. But when we corner them to ask what we can expect this time, they’re insistent that there’s an even-handed approach taken.
“It’s a full one-hour documentary about 1916, within the context of Irish history as a whole. We dressed up as Black and Tans and read the proclamation outside the GPO.”
It’s not, we’re told, the only bit of fun they’ve had with Poblacht na hÉireann, which also serves as the framework for a banging tune called ‘Double Dropping Yokes With Éamon DeValera’. While we’re not sure if that one will be jostling for the No. 1 spot this Christmas, there’s little doubt that the Proclamation is close to their hearts – which made the sight of No campaigners attempting to suggest that the leaders would have opposed marriage equality particularly jarring.
“That was horseshit,” Blindboy snaps. “The 1916 proclamation was a beautiful document of liberty and freedom, put together by thoughtful and educated people. It espoused secular principles of equality and wasn’t informed by religious morality. It’s only DeValera and McQuaid’s 1937 constitution that has a bang of Catholic fascism off it."
At this point Hot Press has to hold its hands up; they've certainly become experts of sorts. Along the way, as you’d expect, they also managed to get to the bottom of that perennial question – who were the ultimate proponents of Gas Cuntism back at the time of our nation’s birth?
“Roger Casement,” comes the reply, without the slightest hint of hesitation. “Look up photographs of him. He was a total hipster before hipsters even existed. Jim Larkin too, with his giant hands. He was unreal at opening jam jars.”
As well as Gas Cuntism, there was no shortage of fighters in those days either. These days, though, they say there’s a little more trickery involved in staying safe in this big, bad world.
“The Romans never came to Ireland because they assumed it was too cold,” Blindboy explains, proving that there’s no era that’s remained undisturbed by their inquiring minds. “That’s why they called us ‘Hibernia’. I know for a fact that Enda Kenny has been hacking the Syrian internet so that only photos of polar bears come up when you image search ‘Ireland’. And if it worked on the Romans, it will work on Isis.”
Not that Isis are a thing when it comes to where the Rubberbandits intend to spend the holidays.
“We’re visiting a separate plane of reality where the child Christ was born with a Go Pro camera on his head. Everyone worships grainy footage of a donkey eating a pine cone and there’s no wars.”
It sounds like a wonderful spot to visit, albeit likely only accessible through a fistful of yokes. Mind, you’d suspect that their old Limerick mucker Kevin Barry might have taken a similar route to writing his gloriously bat-shit Beatlebone. Be honest – did ye have anything to do with it?
“We did indeed,” Blindboy proudly states. “We went up a mountain and he did a line of Ketamine off the inside spine of an Argos catalogue, while Mr. Chrome was shifting a woman who looked like John Lennon. The plot of Beatlebone then revealed itself to Kevin in a small puddle of Monster energy drink that he’d spilled on the dashboard of his Volvo.”
Just as, in the same fashion, the truths of 1916 will reveal themselves on screen.