MC Lars and Koo Koo Kanga Roo @ Hy Brasil, Bristol (Live Review)

Hidden behind a curtain in prettygeneric bar lies an evening of pure fun, beyond the curtain lies a small stage that’s about to be filled with utter joy.

From the off Koo Koo Kanga Roo have the room on side, they announce their arrival like wrestlers before exploding through the golden curtains. The energy of these two is infectious and within seconds of the first song the audience are singing and dancing along. As the set develops it becomes clear that every song involves participation, in most normal shows this would be a challenge but make that participating making a uni-brow from your finger or making dinosaur jaws and apparently an entire room are on board. Unity in these movements avoids anyone being embarrassed by the surreal experience instead there is a room full of smiling faces and an atmosphere of infectious joy. As the set develops it comes into the crowd, all spread out like a circle pit is about to start but instead Neil and Brian have another set of actions.

Sometimes it is hard to capture the feeling of a room, Koo Koo Kanga Roo had absolutely no trouble at all they captured and created absolute euphoria, sure they play silly songs but when the room is heating up from dancing and full of beaming faces it’s clear silly songs are the perfect way to start the weekend. The infectious nature of the performance and the effortlessly loveable stage patter elevate these two far beyond music or entertainment, there is something truly special about watching and hearing something that fills you with so much joy.

MC Lars has a tough act to follow but with a warm crowd ripe for the picking he hits the ground running and keeps the energy in the room positive. With a breathless opening three songs once more complete with actions MC Lars has more than maintained the positive vibes, adding an element of learning with his literature focused rhymes. Between songs there is brief but charming chatter and behind there are projections of music videos and images to match the songs. There is a charming simplicity to the whole stage set up leaving the focus purely on Lars, as it should be. He flows effortlessly between songs, never missing a beat or a line despite the calm delivery there is an intensity and presence.

The well-honed performance includes a raven complete with a Baltimore Ravens kit to accompany songs about Edgar Allen Poe, songs about Huckleberry Finn and Moby Dick and a spectacular freestyle created from items in the audiences pockets. The audience participation had a huge influence on the atmosphere and made an intimate room feel much bigger. Ending on a song about a fictional emo band with an entire room screaming ‘Die’ must have sounded far less enjoyable for the bystanders on the other side of the curtain but next to the stage it was a moment full of hilarity and joy.

One thing is sure as the room clears everyone in it is leaving happy, even at the best shows I haven’t seen such positive radiance as a room clears.