23rd Mar 2012 10:34am | By Alasdair Morton
Abandoman tells us about freestyle comedy rapping, why acronyms make for difficult lyrics, and why the stranger an audience gets the better.
How thing’s going?
It has been hectic, I have got three days off before ten days on the road at Blackpool, Scotland and then the Alps for the Altitude comedy festival.
Where did the name Abandoman come from?
It started at a show at the Brighton fringe festival in 2008 where I was a one man band – ‘ a band of man’ – and it just kind of stuck. When James and I met we entered the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year compeition and we couldn’t decide on a name for the show so it just happened to stick.
What has been your strangest gig?
We did one on a bus at 9am for a stag do. We were told not to tell anyone on the bus that we were entertainers, people thought we were just a couple of other guys on the stag do. When we started performing everyone thought we were just really over eager lads, it was a bit odd, no one knew what to do, everyone was just a bit tired and hungover, it was early in the morning, so they had no idea why we had decided to do a rap song. It was only when we started asking the groom questions that people began to cotton on.
Your show involves the audience a lot – does it ever go wrong?
It’s so chatty that it doesn’t really bring hecklers in that much. Once we did a sound check for the comedy tent at the V Festival with a full band, there were seven of us there. We spent twenty minutes shouting things like “Can we get more horns on the back monitor?’ and “Can we get more drums in the front…”, and but the audience had no idea that this was a sound check. The compere hadn’t told them we were taking a break for twenty minutes so they just watched us really confused until one guy shouted “Can I get more comedy in the front monitor?” But that made me giggle a lot.
What’s the strangest request that has come you way form the audience then?
In terms of strange requests, we get them all the time for freestyle. We did a gig for a business company who asked us to sit in on the minutes for their annual meeting and then surmise the minutes in a rap song. They use loads if acronyms which I wrote on a big white board but I had to say to them at the start “I am gong to do a rap to wrap up your minutes but I am not going to understand 80% of it.”
Is it better the more the audience get involved then?
Yeah, we encourage it, it’s a freestyle comedy show - an improvised show with improvised songs. The most important thing is to get people to give good and weird suggestions - the stranger the better. Asking people what they hate and then getting traffic jams is not great, but if someone says “I hate dessert spoons because they are too big to go in a Petif Filous, that will lead to a better song.
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