Last week I had the chance not only to chat with Kid Koala – which you can listen to here – but I was granted a spot on the guest list to his show because I am a big shot. Actually, I’m not a big shot but I do have the occasional delusion of grandeur. So I have that going for me. Kid Koala is a Canadian DJ and turntablist who has collaborated with Gorillaz, Lovage, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Peeping Tom and is currently working with producer Dan the Automator and rapper Del the Funky Homosapien on a new Deltron 3030 record which will be a follow-up to their 2000 self titled debut. I’m familiar with Koala’s work with most of the above mentioned collaborations but I’ve never really checked out his solo stuff save for the every once in a while youtube video check-in. Several weeks ago I found a copy of his latest record in my mailbox and didn’t really think anything except, ‘Oh, I know about Kid Koala.’ 12 Bit Blues is Koala’s fourth LP and when I finally got around to listening to it I was surprised to find that it was blues record. It may be a blues record with a bit more scratching and looping and sound manipulating but it’s still a blues record.
When I found out that Kid Koala was going to be hitting up Seattle as part of his Vinyl Vaudeville Tour I knew that I absolutely had to be a part of the madness. Especially when the evening was described as the following…‘the Vinyl Vaudeville Tour will involve madness and mayhem up to and including (but not limited to) puppets, dancing robots, dancing girls and gigantic cardboard turntables. Very special guests Adira Amram and the Experience (from NYC) will also make a cameo, doing a hilarious high energy 20 minute musical comedy workout to warm things up.’
Neumos wasn’t super packed when I first arrived so I was really hoping that there would be some sort of turnout. I stepped up to the bar and ordered a couple of drinks – yes, a couple. I’m drinking for two these days. – and noticed the merch table. There were the standard items for sale that you see at every show: records, posters, buttons, and then I saw some very non standard items for sale like pot holders, a ceramic bird and what looked like a hand carved monkey bust. After chatting with the lady in charge of the table I found out that Kid Koala and his crew scour local thrift shops in every town they visit and buy things to sell on tour. Fun!
The opening act was a collective called Adira Amram & The Experience who have been performing musical comedy all over NYC and elsewhere and are now on tour with Kid Koala. They were super fun and didn’t take themselves too seriously. Actually, they didn’t take themselves seriously at all and they had the crowd chuckling the entire 20 minute set.
Kid Koala took the stage shortly after Adira Amram & The Experience finished their ‘what the hell did i just witness?’ musical/comedy set and he opened with ‘1 Bit Blues’, the first song from his new record.
Upon purchase of Koala’s new record the buyer will find that included within the first pressing is a tiny gramaphone that really works. Once you put it together yourself, of course. Koala’s dancing girls, who looked suspiciously like Adira Amram & The Experience, explained it all.
Directly after the girls finished constructing the giant gramaphone, Kid Koala took to the stage in a freaking Koala costume. He went on to explain how he lost a bet and has to wear this costume for 100 concerts. THEN, he went on to play his daughter’s favorite song which brought joy to my heart. Maybe it was the booze talking but I felt happy at that moment and I didn’t want to be anywhere else but where I was, listening to Dora the Explorer singing ‘Open, Closed’.