Ireland’s Rubberbandit’s en route to the Craic Festival New York City - VIDEOS


“Centra (another supermarket chain) bags come a close second. Then we got these great bags from Portugal that have a great red color to them. They’re the best bags I’ve ever put on my head.”

There’s nothing funny about wearing a plastic bag on your head in the equatorial heat of the Australian summer, though, and Blindboy knows it. Number one it’s very hot, and number two, he’s going to be upside down for most performances.

“The sweat won’t even drain out of the bag,” he says. “I could drown.”

Joining him onstage as ever will be Mr. Chrome, the other part of the talented duo.

They’ve been friends for over a decade, and the band began as a joke that became more and more viable as it gained fame.

“Mr. Chrome used to tap dance on the street since he was a young child,” Blindboy explains. “His da used to be a pickpocket and Mr. Chrome would tap dance to distract the police. He’s never not dancing, and at the same time he could be robbing something out of your pocket too.”

The pair knows New York audiences love them, but they are still deeply surprised by all the attention.

“I can understand the Irish community and the Irish American community in New York liking us, but the fact that the regular Yanks are coming is good too,” Blindboy reckons.

To keep things interesting they’re promising some surprises on the night.

“We have had dancing altar boys before, we’ve had girls dressed up as horses, and now we just do the shows ourselves with help from deejay Willie O’DJ. What we wanted to bring over to the New York gig this year was a live swan, but we’re having a bit of trouble getting it over. So we might have to do without it.”

Blindboy, or Mr. Chambers if you prefer, is currently completing a masters in psychology, which is the other less well-known side of this brilliant double act.

Asked about the social commentary the band indulges in, particularly when it comes to sex, he gives a hilarious answer.

“Our philosophy about sex?” he says in a hard as nails Limerick accent. “We like to think of sex in relation to death, do you know what I mean? It’s the same act essentially; do you know what I mean?

“It’s like when you’re having sex with a bird, you have to imagine that you’re at your own funeral, you know? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and it can get very depressing then too. But if you take a very philosophical approach to the act of coitus you can find yourself having a tremendous time.”

It’s because they make cracks like this that the Rubberbandits found themselves inducted into the Trinity College Film Society.

“At the end of the night they came up to us with this big old book that’s 400 or 500 years old,” says Blindboy. “It had signatures of people like James Joyce in it. We signed it next to Jonathan Swift’s signature and we drew a picture of Bob Marley smoking hash. That’s true.”

Supporting the Rubberbandits at the Craic Fest this year are the Minutes, a Dublin band that played the CMJ Music Fest last year.

The new Craic film series is booked for Tribeca Cinemas and will be bringing the likes of Colm Meaney in Parked and boxing champ Barry McGuigan’s In Sunshine or In Shadow to its screens.

For the first time this year, the Craic Fest will also feature the Kids Fleadh on Saturday, March 10 presenting a special program of family-friendly short films and stepdancing suitable for kids of all ages, followed by an Irish breakfast. 

The Craic Festival takes place between March 8 and 10 at Tribeca Cinemas and Mercury Lounge. For more news and venues check the full line-up on

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