The self-proclaimed professors of ‘pop hermeneutics’ return in stunning form to the Udderbelly, revealing their miraculous insights into the world of music and mass-culture, like the best GCSE Music teachers you never had. Come armed with a thorough knowledge of the last century of popular music, and be ready to have it twisted and mashed up beyond recognition in an evening of hilarious observations matched by incredible musical talent.

I want to steer clear of mentioning particular songs, as half the fun of this duo’s shtick is the jaw-dropping realisation of what they’re lovingly ripping off. I will however direct you to YouTube (it’s inescapable…) to see one of their classic offerings ‘Grime’, pronounced ‘Grahm’. It’s a Carpenters' hit re-imagined in the dirty urban skank of today’s city streets (“Sorry, Karen…” – Frisky), and is so singularly well-conceived that it makes me both beam with pleasure and shake my laptop in frustration I hadn’t thought of it myself.

Frisky’s voice is one of the best I’ve heard in a while, on or off the comedy circuit. Her range is astonishing, not just in terms of the notes she nails, but in terms of the variety of styles she sings in – from fluttering soprano to the throaty belt of Heather Small. Dressed like a pop-princess-themed cupcake, she shook her assets like Shakira and river-danced like a native. I guess I have a soft-spot for twinky tinkler Mannish on keys, whose quirky energy spilled over his keyboard – his occasionally bizarre personal choreography never hiding how bloody good he is at the piano.

The pair’s uncanny ability to see the similarities between songs makes them seem like half-crazed conspiracy theorists, holed-up in their attic spotting patterns in the charts. On their wall they must stick posters of Barbara Streisand and Duffy and Kanye, joining Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Lana Del Rey with pieces of string. What we get to see is a collage of tunes and well-observed musical impressions which keeps us guessing and gasping and laughing with every number.

Reviews by James Robert Ball

Leicester Square Theatre

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★★★★

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★★★

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★★★

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★★★

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The Blurb

School? College? Job? YAWN. Life isn’t about spreadsheets, it’s about joy and laughter and POP MUSIC. Frisky and Mannish, London’s resident experts of pop hermeneutics and “fully-blown superstars” (Time Out), are back at the Udderbelly to blow the bloody hooves off it. They’ll be letting their hair down, and letting rip. Expect the F&M classics (see your local YouTube), alongside things they haven’t even made up yet. They are excited. You defs should be.

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