The most famous (if not the only) animated band Gorillaz strode into London this Monday past, and brought with them a technicolour musical experience which was quite frankly, an assault (a nice one) on the senses.
Damon Albarn and James Hewletts' cartoon creations have become icons in their own right, and as such a performance befitting of their name is one that needs to carry some considerable weight behind it. Whilst touring their third album Plastic Beach a few years back, the tour had an almost world music/jazz vibe to proceedings. A myriad of influences all colliding into each other like a particularly volatile biological experiment.
This time round, Albarn and co have opted for a much more rock n' roll/night on the lash vibe. As soon as M1 A1 kicks in with its Day of the Dead sample and heavy guitar filtering into the ear cavities of the crowd, it's clear this tours vibe is a far more heavyweight affair.
That's not to say the juxtaposition of musical genres isn't just as evident with tonights tour, it's just the tracklist seems to veer towards the heavier/dancier aspects of the bands catalogue. From the addictive groove of Rhinestone Eyes to the short sharp burst of the self explanatory Punk, to the reggae/trap influenced Saturnz Barz this is a setlist for people to get down.
It's also a night which proves just how big Damon Albarn's contact book is. Every other song it seems, a new musical star joins the band on stage, and with very little fanfare.Vince Staples injects a burst of Californian hip-hop energy on the brilliant Ascension, Shaun Ryder pops up for DARE and We Got The Power boasts not one but three big stars in the form of Jehnny Beth, Graham Coxon and old advisory Noel Gallagher.
Of all the guest stars however, it's upcoming grime prodigy Little Simz who impresses the most. Teaming up for the outstanding Garage Palace, she commands the 10,000 strong crowd as if it was the most natural thing in the world. One to watch for sure.
All in all, it's a night which ticks all the boxes. With every song being accompanied with show stopping visuals the band have managed to create a show which is a real feast for the senses. Add in some anthemic sing alongs and break neck hip hop tunes and voila, you get a Gorillaz show which those in attendance will not forget anytime soon.
Not bad for some cartoons, eh?
1. M1 A1
2. Last Living Souls
3. Rhinestone Eyes
4.Tomorrow Comes Today
5. Every Planet We Reach Is Dead
6. Saturnz Barz
7. Charger feat. Pauline Black)
9. Superfast Jellyfish feat. Gruff Rhys and De La Soul
10. On Melancholy Hill
11. El Mañana
12. Ascension feat. Vince Staples
13. Strobelite feat. Peven Everett
14. Andromeda feat. D.R.A.M.
15. Sex Murder Party feat. Jamie Principle and Zebra Katz
16. Sweepstakes feat. Mos Def and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
17. Garage Palace feat. Little Simz
19. Broken feat. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
20. Let Me Out feat. Pusha T
21. Dirty Harry feat. Bootie Brown
22. Stylo feat. Mos Def and Peven Everett
23. Feel Good Inc. feat. De La Soul
24. We Got the Power feat. Jehnny Beth, Noel Gallagher and Graham Coxon
25. Hong Kong
26. Kids With Guns
27. DARE feat. Shaun Ryder and Roses Gabor
28. Clint Eastwood
29. Don't Get Lost in Heaven
30. Demon Days