After a Saturday of excess a Sunday night gig is rarely the preferred option, but when you walk in to a room (late sorry Raised by Raptors!) to see Koo Koo Kangaroo stepping on to the floor in fine form any cobwebs are blown away.
Within moments of beginning Neil and Bryan have the crowd whipped up in to a frenzy and obeying every command. These commands are almost entirely the required movements to each and every song and there are a lot of songs. From making the jaws of a dinosaur, a single eyebrow, pizza fingers or dancing like a cat, each move is simple and joyous. This is a set that much like watching someone fail it is impossible not to experience with a smile on your face. These two are far from just a novelty act, their performance is enthusiastic and their happiness spreads across the entire room. I would not be surprised if there were reports of smiles all over Bristol after this infectious exercise in pure joy.
With the audience suitably warmed up and obedient the stage is passed to Mega Ran, once more there are actions and as a former teacher there is an unintentional sense of authority. As track follows track there is a huge variety in his flow with fast raps, slow raps, moments of smooth g funk and every knife edge switch backed with technical beats. With such a variation in tone it is no surprise that content is also vast, there are references to popular culture, wrestling and being a better person all combined within a broader video game theme. The gamers in the room take joy from each obscure reference whilst the n00bs enjoy the hidden samples of classic games. The set hits a whole new level with the introduction to his partner in rhyme MC Lars, the two combine to offer out a sample of their latest lit hop project. With a freestyle based on objects from the audience the set takes a turn for the unexpected but with two accomplished rappers on the stage the freestyle is flawless and entertaining. With one final song, a Mega Man prop and one final dance Mega Ran is off into the night.
He is replaced on the stage by MC Lars and his full band Raised By Raptors who somehow combine punchy musicianship with Lar’s flow and manage to avoid sounding like Nu Mental. Instead the razor sharp musicianship and individual flows work together to create a sound as close to the samples of beats of a traditional MC Lars set as possible. The comprehensive set list covers a huge back catalogue and with every passing track there is a new challenge for the band behind. Whether complex guitar, blasted drum beats, tight harmonies or gang vocals Raised By Raptors take every moment into their stride without ever looking uncomfortable.
Combining the musicianship and the already charisma filled MC Lars is a match made in heaven, with each and every moment his enthusiasm becomes more and more infectious and by the halfway point the crowd create the friendliest mosh pit you have ever seen. Despite the heavier edge these songs have been treated with there is still an overwhelming sense of positivity, even in an emotional song about the death of a friend the room smiles through the tears. With the end approaching the tempo increases and the singalong section slowly edges towards a grand finale, this comes in the shape of the title track from ‘This gigantic robot kills’ the album this tour celebrates.
The booking of MC Lars’ tours is sublime, there is somehow a representation of an entire scene within one line up and most importantly as everyone leaves the venue and steps into the cool Bristol evening they have a face full of joy to keep them warm on the way home.