Abandonman at the 2010 Hackney Empire new act final

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Corry Shaw

The shock of the night was that Abandoman, a three-man hip-hop group using a tagline (‘the seventh most popular hip-hop group in Ireland’) that’s very similar to Flight Of The Conchords, managed to scoop first place. Not that they weren’t good – the skill involved in improvising three hip-hop numbers based on the lives of audience members is nothing short of genius – however they completely flouted the rules on timing: performing for 16 minutes rather than the regulation eight.

It was selfish on such a big bill, made a mockery of having rules in the first place, and unfair on other acts who might have performed better had they taken a longer slot. And their set could so easily have been cut by choosing one audience member rather than two, and performing two raps rather than three.

Regulations aside, Rob Broderick is an engaging frontman and an incredibly quick and skilful improviser. The audience were wowed by his flawless rapping and they received the first standing ovation of the night. It’s doubtful the ovation was for the comedy though, much more likely it was for the impressive spectacle.

Review date: 31 Jan 2010
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw
Reviewed at: Hackney Empire

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