If Kid Koala were an expression, he’d be a smile. A big, beaming, toothy smile. The Ninja Tune turntablist gives off an aura of infinite bliss whenever he is behind his decks and as he shuffled behind them to open the night, the feel good vibes resonated around the brilliant Roundhouse venue.
Mixing up funk and hip hop, the Canadian brought the crowds streaming in before knocking them down with his ever trusty and always impressive Moon River routine. Juggling, scratching and mixing seemed as easy as blinking and when he topped it off with an interlude about koalas and their wives, every single person in the house was grinning as much as he was.
Then came the main event. 2 DJs. 8 decks. Numerous guitar pedals and an even larger number of 7 inches. DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist moved out of the darkness and introduced the evening’s ideas via a helpful guide on the screens, explaining there would be no computers involved, they were simply using the much vaunted 45.
The two hour set got underway with a huge blast of noise from the crowd who were then entertained with music from the likes of Aaliyah, The Pharcyde, Digable Planets [which was followed, amazingly, by The Whisper Song by the Ying Yang Twins] and the like. Mixing up Stairway To Heaven with the vocals from Gilligan’s Island was another prime example of the fun the two DJs were having as they crossed over from the UK to the US and back again.
Dizzee Rascal was soon followed by the Foo Fighters and Blur with a casual break where the DJs sat on a patio table at the front of the stage, sipping drinks and reading newspapers before rejoining their equipment. The finale saw them don portable turntables, ask the crowd who liked metal and proceeded to scratch a solo over an early Metallica tune with the record strapped to their chest.
One looped interlude continued to ask “If you were a domestic appliance, what would you be?” with the answer coming back from the sample as “A plug. Definitely a plug”. And on the form these two giants were on, let’s hope that plug would never be pulled out.
Photos by Ian Hsieh