Abandoman bring their sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show to the Epstein Theatre

Posted on 26 September 2017
By Ellie Gregory
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Bringing their sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show to the Epstein Theatre this week, the Irish hip-hop improv comedy duo, Abandoman, are ready to perform their Life + Rhymes tour.

Known for being the house band on Alan Carr’s Happy Hour television show, the comedic musical duo, Rob and Sam, have brought a new genre to the 21st century as they create brand new songs and narratives based entirely on their audience’s suggestions.

Deemed as “infectiously fun and hilarious” by The Edinburgh Festival Magazine, Abandoman will bring a fictional biopic of epic proportions. This imaginary retrospective spans twenty years and sees the duo’s attempt to “make it” as a band in the early 90s. Not only will the audience witness the highs, lows and scandals, they will form the supporting cast every night! Over the course of the tour, Abandoman will meet rival bands, managers, fan club presidents and numerous other roles too fantastical to conjure up before the night itself.

Speaking to rapper Rob Broderick ahead of their performance on Wednesday, he talked about what’s next for the duo.

PR: Can you tell us what we can expect from Abandoman and the Life + Rhymes tour?

For anyone that hasn’t seen us before, we’re a freestyle hip hop comedy group. Every lyric is based on chats with the audience.  We ask them questions about their lives, loves and hates, and create tracks based on these answers.
For this show, we’ve gone a bit further and created a fictional world that the show lives in.  It’s essentially a fictional biopic, set in Ireland in the 90’s. People in the crowd are referred to as though they were there on this journey with us.  It’s a silly construct but allows the audience to be a bit sillier as they can place themselves in our backstory if they wish to.

PR: How did you create the Abandoman show?

Around 2008, I decided to take a hip hop comedy show to the Brighton Fringe Festival  Initially, I wrote about 10 songs.  I worked on them for ages but somehow allowed no time to learn these lyrics.  On the opening night of the show, I was panicking.  I’d the stage littered with pages of lyrics and a vague idea of how they went.  I then got chatting to someone in the audience about their day.  Through mild panic, I improvised a song about it.  I then repeated this process until the hour was up.  At the end of the show, it was a messy but interesting mash up of chat and freestyle.  That’s pretty much how the show started.
PR: How did you find the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?  What were the highlights? 

I always love the fringe.  It’s an amazing place to work up new shows and to hone things.  There’s no other time of the year that you can settle in one location and play to big audience numbers every night.

With this year, I took a slight departure from normal.  I’ve been freestyling and improvising for quite a few years now, so this year, as a challenge, I picked up the pen again and wrote some songs.  The show features tracks I’d been working on for the past six months as well as a lot of animation (and freestyling). 

PR: Where do you see yourself in two years?

I’m incredibly interested in where the world of writing can take things.  I love what Tim Minchen, Lonely Island and Lin Manuel do, I guess I’m hoping to nudge in that direction eventually. I’d love to write a musical in the coming years.

I’m also excited about working on making Abandoman bigger in terms of what can be done with musical improvisation.  We’ve always aimed to create songs that sound as close to radio-ready as possible.  It’s something of a growing thing – to create songs that sound completed even though they’re being constructed in the moment.  As technology improves this is becoming easier and easier.  I’m hoping this continues to build, so that the quality of the tracks improves each year.

PR: Why have you chosen to go on tour now?

Being honest, I think this is the best show we’ve created.  From an audience point of view, it’s also our most popular show.  It sold 10,000 tickets when it debuted in Edinburgh and had a four week sell out run at the Melbourne Comedy Festival earlier this year.   I guess we’re keen to take it on a spin of the UK before we start building the next show.

Abandoman, who have also supported multi-platinum artist Ed Sheeran on his UK tour, will be performing their award winning show next Wednesday 27th September at the Liverpool Epstein Theatre.

For more information and ticket prices, head over to www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk/events/abandoman-life/.

Come see the show that entertained over 10,000 people at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.