Frisky & Mannish have been around now for over 10 years, but the mixed-gender double act were completely new to me, although I was assured by numerous people that they are excellent. I’m pleased to know I’m not surrounded by liars. After a lavish and bombastic introduction, the duo settled in and gave an outline of what to expect.
With vague similarities to the Axis of Awesome, only with more with more sex appeal, Frisky & Mannish take popular music, and bend it to their will. They combine content previously considered incompatible, highlighting similarities between vastly different genres that you’d never have before realised on your own. After taking a break from performing, the duo are back, now fully qualified with pop PhDs and ready to stick pop music under a microscope to thoroughly analyse and subsequently dissect it.
Their assessment: nothing is safe from the tropical house disease, and Ed Sheeran has already succumbed to it.
It is equally as certain that nobody is safe from the cattish comments of vocalist Frisky (Laura Corcoran), with pianist and vocalist Mannish (Matthew Floyd Jones) more than happy to jump in, claws out, when the opportunity arises. The interaction between the two is also great, unafraid to take the occasional jab at one another, and always to great comedic effect.
On a technical level, both were exceptional. The pair have fantastic vocals, and Mannish’s ability to seamlessly transition through genre styles is enviable. However, the actual substance of the performance was more varied. While the vast majority was both witty and hilarious, there were times where content really outstayed its welcome. Some of the interconnecting ‘banter’ was guilty of straying dangerously close to boring at times, and quite honestly, the overarching theme of scientific research didn’t quite cut it for me. Nonetheless though, when on form the duo were phenomenal, and those previous problematic sections were quickly forgotten.
While it helps to have an extensive knowledge of music, even if you aren’t a pop chart aficionado, there is plenty here to enjoy. Some of the jokes might go over your head, but the showmanship is such that you won’t care. PopLab is a real romp through music evolution and genomes, and if you can sit tight through some of the rougher patches, the pair are absolutely going to blow you away with their musical talent.