Ten years since they burst onto the scene with their wildly popular brand of musical infotainment, Frisky & Mannish are officially Pop PhDs, fully qualified to conduct scientific analyses of the molecular intersections between every pop song ever. Shameless Edinburgh Fringe sell-outs since 2009, Frisky and Mannish are back with their show, PopLab. They spoke with The Fountain about the new show, as well as their motto for 2019.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Are you asking us how exciting the Fringe is? Or how exciting our performance will be? The answer to both, to quote Simon Cowell, is 110%. The Fringe is the greatest arts festival in the world, and we are the greatest seriocomic-mashparodic-bapsbotty-infotainment-musical duo returning with a tenth anniversary show called PopLab in the world. We always find ourselves drawn back by the crowds, the bars, the late-night vibes, and all that is deep-fried.
TF: PopLab certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
Those who’ve seen us before know that we love nothing more than to get under the skin of pop music and educate you unwashed peasants about it, but this year we’re inviting you into our experimental lab to really break it down molecule by molecule. Find out exactly what connects Little Mix to Rizzle Kicks, and precisely why Sam Smith amd Will Young does not = Will Smith. We hope that this paper thin concept will link together all the stupid stuff we find so fantastic about the pop world, and make it feel weighty and important.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
This marks ten years of Frisky & Mannish at the Fringe, and this will be our eighth full-length show. In that time, we’ve gone from being just two smart-arses with a Casio keyboard to big old shameless hams with multiple costume changes, flying in on wrecking balls and a seven-minute dream ballet. And that’s been amazing. But we had a hankering for the simpler times, so for this year it’s back to basics a bit. Still hammy, but no complicated narratives or experimental provocations. Just making each other and the audience laugh at pop.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
Our motto for the entire of 2019 is to “have fun above all else.” We have done the Fringe thing so many times now that we’re aware of the potential pitfalls, how easy it is to get swept up in worrying about reviews and sales and money, and what we need to do to keep ourselves sane. For us, that is eating in delicious restaurants (Outsider, Mum’s, Kismot), drinking delicious juices (Hula), going for relaxing massages (spa at the Sheraton followed by the gin bar is a one-two that can’t be beaten), and remembering to go out to see things and be inspired because you’re lucky to be there. Yes, we did do Arthur’s Seat that one time in 2004 – view was lovely but once is enough, thanks. It’s far.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond PopLab?
Well, after Fringe we’ll be touring the UK, thanks very much for asking. All the hotspots – Stockton to Whitehaven, Bridport and Havant, and many more. You can find the details at our website. Beyond that, we’ll just quote Kelly Rowland and say we’re “down for whatever.”
Frisky & Mannish’s PopLab will be at the Palais Du Variete at Assembly George Square Gardens for the month of August at 19:00. For tickets, go to www.edfringe.com