The recently redecorated Kino was the perfect venue for a gig where every member of the audience had a cartilage piercing and looked like they studied graphic design. TPM is a hip-hop sibling duo from Dundalk. The Hendy brothers perform lively and lewd hip-hop which I would most certainly not be comfortable singing with my brother, but Charles and Andrew seem unfazed.
The buzz of the gig was established by the support act Post Punk Podge & The Technohippies of the Limerick art scene. According to Podge: “He is a truth-seeking singer/rapper/musician who is here to save you from the drudgery monotony of modern life which his fusion of Krautrock, Post Punk and rap with strings.” I have no idea what that’s supposed to sound like either. Very Limerick.
Post Punk Podge is loud, charismatic and most certainly knows how to establish a rave. I initially thought they were the headliners judging from the buzz they created. Donning a papal sort of envelope on his head – that really is the only way to describe it – he ran the length of the Kino stage and generated much excitement. At one stage he initiated a fight between some Kerry football fans. It was wildly entertaining. Songs such as ‘Post-Punk Election Party’ and ‘Full-Time Mad Bastard’ lend themselves to mosh pits and screaming, activities which I personally adore. I’m not sure if Post Punk Podge is the kind of tuneage you listen to on your own in your room or commuting on the bus though.
TPM themselves are equally captivating. Once they burst on stage it became immediately apparent who the main act was. They opened with a smooth rap song ‘Eat That Curry’ which in spite of being a tune that is taking the piss, is remarkably suave. I knew none of the songs but even I was singing along and side shuffling along with the rest of the audience in no time.
The duo doesn’t just produce silky rap songs, however, and ‘Fuck RTÉ’ was the antonym of ‘Eat That Curry’. It was fast-paced and aggressive and highly reminiscent of Kneecap’s ‘Incognito’. Honestly, the lyrics were not as elaborate as Kneecap’s and in English. For me, it was a discount version of ‘Incognito’.
That was a recurring theme of the gig. They were like Kneecap, but not as good. Ouch. I know. I feel bad typing this. The same anarchical spirit and hedonistic revelry could be found, but the lyrics were not as complicated and they were in a language which is easier to work with. ‘All the Boys on the Dole’ was funny and I enjoyed myself immensely at the gig. The beats were good, the hype was great and the energy was fantastic. Ultimately, TPM is a fantastic addition to the vibrant Irish hip hop scene, but they aren’t breaking any new ground.
This is harsh. As I said, the gig was craic on steroids. If you’re looking for a fun time yes, see TPM next time they are in Cork. I urge you. ‘Don’t Ever Smoke Skunk’ is a hilarious bop that the crowd went mental for. ‘All the Boys on Karaoke’ used the same melody as All the Boys on the Dole’ and brought the gig full circle. The siblings work really well together and their performance is tight (there’s a third person on stage behind a computer, but I’m told he’s just a pal sitting there drinking cans and pressing play on the backing tracks). TPM’s vibes are that of the very best seshs you’ve attended but in terms of originality, look elsewhere.