Live Reviews

Gorillaz – Live

Roundhouse, London

When Gorillaz announce a show at the Roundhouse, you know that you’re going to get a show. How could something so innovative and downright brilliant not be great? However, after their hologram shows a few years ago, it was going to take something special to stand up to their high standards – a test they passed with flying colours.

Joined on stage by two drummers, a string section, two guitarists, a bass player, a programmer, a keyboard player and four backing singers, Damon Albarn alternated between front man on tracks such as Last Living Souls and Melancholy Hill and playing the piano at the back of the stage, allowing the guests to take centre stage and provide the audience with cameo after cameo.

And what an array of guests it was! Not content with having two members of The Clash in his band, Damon’s swinging doors welcomed Bobby Womack and Mos Def, Kano and Bashy, Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano and Shaun Ryder to roll through their hits. But this wasn’t all, seeing De La Soul bounce from the side of the stage for Super Fast Jellyfish and the incredible Feel Good Inc [yep, Maseo did the laugh live] and then Bootie Brown getting the crowd waving and clapping for Dirty Harry was next level.

Even when the guests couldn’t make it, their presence was felt, with the show being kicked off by a 20 foot Snoop Dogg in full Captain’s outfit dancing around with a telescope – you couldn’t make it up.

Even when there were no guests, Jamie Hewlett’s amazing artwork made it a visual spectacle and, in fact, did so throughout the show. Having a cartoon child choir singing along [and picking noses, throwing paper planes and having a fight] with Brown couldn’t have made my grin any wider, it was perfect.

Damon Albarn proved his genius in the space of two hours here. From beautiful softly-sung ballads to straight up party tunes, he’s covered it all with Gorillaz. So we didn’t have holograms? But who cares, we got one of the best shows around.