Rollrollrollrollrollrollrollroll KER-THUMP, goes the noise above us. Kid Koala looks up at ceiling of the main floor green room in the Commodore Ballroom on and smiles. “42 years old and he’s only just learning now,” he says.
Del tha Funkee Homosapien, you see, is in the upstairs green room, practising…learning how to skateboard. “He’s getting better!” Kid proclaims cheerily.
Better, enough, it seems to roll onstage for the kick off of “3030” and take small breaks sidestage to roll past me while the others do their thing.
“YO IT’S THREE THOUSAND THIRTY. I want y’all to meet Deltron zero, hero, not no small feat”… and it isn’t a small feat. It’s a superfly supergroup of Del, turntablist legend Kid Koala and producer whiz Dan the Automator. We haven’t seen Deltron in these parts for a while now, but they’re back with a new platter Event II, from which they’re now scratching, spitting and warping grooves on the live stage.
Del’s the focal point – of course – skittishly working the stage through “Things You Can Do”, “Positive Contact” “City Rising from the Ashes” and “Stardate” but says little in between. It’s Dan that steps out from his simple table of Macs to MC for the crowd, instructing us like the bouncing ball on karaoke, to sing along for “Nobody Can”. So we do: “Deltron is our hero, if he can’t do it… NOBODY CAN!” This may be true.
Kid gets a moment (after a long series of opening set moments that were sadly marred by dodgy broken faders and tech problems…though how can you not swoon for “Moon River”?) in the spotlight too. It’s known on the setlist as “Kid Koala Solo” and it’s all vinyl underneath fingertips sounding like a symphony of samples. Watching one of the nicest men in music spin and flick and crab-scratch is always a curious, joyous thing.
But the highlights? Well, “Virus” was raw and big, and had the Commodore’s horsehair floor heaving….and must be praised for its effective use of the word “papyrus”. But REALLY what had the crowd going batshit?
It’s this: “I ain’t happy, I’m feeling glad, ” a Damon Albarn-y voice from the beyond, slurs. “I’ve got sunshine in a bag”…the ghost of Gorillaz past continues. And the crowd goes Mount Etna. What a treat to hear Del rap out “Clint Eastwood”.
Deltron 3030 IS our hero! \m/
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