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Kid Koala live review

At KOKO, 12th March

The glamorous, plush red decoration that fills KOKO juxtaposed with the plaid-shirt wearing, chain-smoking Kid Koala fans lounging on the outdoor patio that overlooks Camden’s streets last Saturday night.  Together, it represented the old versus new that London is known for.  Similarly contrasting, the comic book writing and comedic-scratch master Kid Koala brought the packed house down with his talent for swinging between depth-filled beats and light hearted moments.

“You may be wondering why I’m wearing this Koala suit, but it’s because I lost a bet.  I have to wear it for a 100 shows and tonight is number 13,” Kid Koala told the audience after playing his first couple of songs, following Mr. Thing, The Impellers and DJ Vadim’s ‘the Electric’ album launch on the Soundcrash line-up.  Even though this full body suit is part of his famed image, it was still impressive to see him wear the hot outfit all night while pumping up the crowd with non-stop rapid spin seshes and dance moves. 

There is an undisputable art in DJing and Kid Koala displayed this by filming his hands mastering the turntables and projecting the images all night on the massive screen behind him.  It forced the audience not to just appreciate his manipulation of sound but also the nimble tools of his craft.  When ‘Moon River’ began, the crowd went wild, some even holding up lighters, at his most beautiful masterpiece.  Most songs were not as melodramatic.  Some were so up-beat and cheerful, like the song he claimed his two-year old daughter likes the most and reminded of the childhood anthems ‘Ears Hang Low’ or ‘Head Shoulders Knees & Toes’, that it was impossible not to listen to and smile.

The only problem with his set was that it’s brevity! KOKO is open until 3am yet he ended almost two hours before closing time despite taking to the stage at midnight. The talkative DJ has been mistakenly described as shy, but he proved otherwise chatting away after every tune when he should have been spinning more.  Although humorous listening to the chicken noises Kid Koala blasted during a pillow fight between two fans on stage, it was a random moment in the middle of his set and the time could have been used to listen to more of his performance, which is the reason people came to watch him live in the first place.

Kid Koala blue balled the diverse audience members, mostly men in their late 20s or early 30s, who were in the middle of dancing and enjoying the night when he quickly got off stage, leaving them wanting more. 

Words: Jasmine Lywen-Dill