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Kid Koala, Lederhosen Lucil, Mark Robertson
Short Attention Span Theatre

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Photos of the show
Kid Koala - Some Of My Best Friends Are DJ's

Label: Ninja Tune Date: Wednesday October 8, 2003

Kid Koala's Short Attention Span Theatre kicked off a nine-week tour with a show in Ottawa last night. Kid Koala (a.k.a. Eric San) was not shy about pointing out the fact that things would be "loose" and "a lot of fun" and there is no doubt that the show was both.

Mark Robertson, Eric's bandmate from Bullfrog, started off the night with an all-too short set of his material, an ultra-cool collection of wah-infused, guitar-based songs incorporating jazz, blues and funk influences. Backed by Kid Koala for one song, a beatbox and DJ P-Love for the others, Robertson also played bass notes by foot while delivering vocals alternately sweet and falsetto or dry and scratchy over some solid grooves and turntable sounds. His soulful crooning seemed an ironic contrast to his Poindexter-like appearance creating an interesting visual element to the set as well - it was like your high school math teacher walked up on stage and started singing songs Stevie Wonder would be proud of. The laid-back tunes were a perfect warmup for the crowd. After a couple of dates with Kid Koala, Robertson is heading off on his own tour so this provides a little teaser of what is to come.

Next up was Montreal's Lederhosen Lucil (a.k.a. Krista Muir of Montreal), turning things up a notch with her indie-rock novelty act. With her trademark fake German accent she delivered a rocking set of Yamaha-based keyboard concoctions incorporating rap, singing, french vocabulary and some fine playing. If you haven't seen Lederhosen Lucil, imagine Nina Hagen (or maybe Nena?) crossed with Kate Pierson of the B-52's, singing songs written by They Might Be Giants interpreted by Men Without Hats. Or something like that. Despite slightly muddy sound, Lucil's songs of washing machines, scabs and throwing up leaves were reasonably well received by the polite, if somewhat confused, audience.

After another break, the large screen came to life with Kid Koala's "Fender Bender" video from his "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" CD, after which he took the stage with cohorts P-Love and DJ Jester (does anyone use their real name any more?) What ensued is an almost indescribable series of turntable acrobatics involving 2 or three DJ's simultaneously spinning, scratching, swapping records and even swapping places on stage as the 3 players navigated the forest of saw-horses and road-cases to change turntables or trade records. The crew recreated pieces from Kid Koala's new CD "Some Of My Best Friends Are DJ's", the aforementioned "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" and the soundtrack CD to his book "Nufonia Must Fall". For the latter he even took the time to show some slides of pages from the book to explain the situation before performing the audio piece. Most of the pieces could not be described as songs in the traditional sense but the packed house definitely would have enjoyed having a dance floor on which to shake some collective booty; however, in keeping with the "Short Attention Span Theatre" concept of the evening, the dance floor had been filled with small cocktail tables and chairs making the front of the bar look like a small piano lounge within the greater context of Barrymore's Music Hall, a multi-level old-style theatre with balconies on either side. The pieces were also interspersed with Kid Koala's humourous tales and even a bingo game (bingo cards with accompanying crayon and comic book were handed out at the door on the way in).

Despite the self-professed looseness of the evening and the fact that it was the first show on the tour, Kid Koala and crew put on a thoroughly entertaining evening well worth the cover charge at the door. Highly recommended for anyone willing to put a little adventure into their day-to-day musical experience.

Steve Donnelly Email WWW


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