Cargo is busy at the calmest of times, but when I walked into the venue just before Kid Koala stepped on stage, I knew exactly how Japanese commuters feel when they get crammed into their high speed trains. Sardines have more breathing room than this. Soon after DJ Sparky had done his thang, Kid Koala stepped on the stage to huge noise from the crowd as a siren sounded out, beginning what is a rare occurance – A Kid Koala live show in the UK.
I was excited to see what he’d do, seeing as his stuff on record is a lot of fun as he scratches up and jumbles all sorts of samples. His set began with some nice twanging guitars and harmonicas but the problem which carried on throughout the set occurred almost immediately – the bass was far too loud and often covered up the scratching he was doing on stage.
Playing a sample which said “bridging the gaps”, Koala did just that, playing big swampy bluesy numbers and mixing them in with hip hop vocals before his piece de resistance – the blues mosquito. Manipulating his equipment, he made a noise that sounded like a mosquito’s buzz before changing the pitch so it sounded like it was humming the blues. It was original and cool but the music he did it over didn’t fit and it sounded a little bit out of place.
Playing Spank Rock and De La Soul was a big crowd pleaser as was his Skanky Panky track which turned everyone in the crowd into a Jamaican, but still I felt a bit disappointed. He hardly scratched, the mixing sounded a bit lazy and as I said before, the bass blasted out a fair few of the tunes. Still, everyone else in the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves, so it seems as though Kid Koala can still raise many smiles to many faces.