Story: Roland Stanbridge-Miles
I'VE found, when people ask you who you're going to see and you
answer 'Mr Scruff', you tend to get a funny look, followed by
the inevitable question: "What's that?"
The expression on their face gets worse as you mumble something
about 'jazz, house rhythms,
And, true to form, Mr Scruff's DJ set proves to be as hard to
describe as his albums, which makes writing this review more of
What I can say is that it ranges from an early helping of Latin
(good) to some reggae (very good) with a finale of house, which
bores me to tears.
Maybe I just don't have as much stamina as the man who can manage
a six-hour stint at the decks with only one noticeable fuck up
with the mixing, which is greated with ironic applause by the
I can't remember noticing him leaving the stage for a toilet
break - either his visits to the bathroom coincided with mine
or, ever the professional, he has had a colostomy bag installed
specially for the night.
There's no need - he could have
followed the old indie DJ trick of sticking on 'Paranoid Android',
leaving him with enough time not only to visit the gents but also
have a quick drink at the bar and maybe even a bit of a dance.
To mine (and many's) delight, he finishes with Bob Marley's sublime
Could You Be Loved.
Along the way, of course, he throws in a few of his own songs,
including Get A Move On and Fish, which predictably
get the best response of the night from an up for it crowd, who
enhance the pleasant atmosphere in the Forum.
And, by the end, indeed well before, the dancefloor is packed
Six hours staring at one bloke is a bit much, so for our visual
stimulation..... belly dancers!! No, actually, it's just a screen
showing looped footage of animation, some lifted from videos and
some produced especially for the occasion I believe, but all in
the brilliantly simplistic, yet idiosyncratic, style featuring
a collection of endearing blob-like characters living in a 2d
Doesn't sound great but there's something special about it that
keeps my eyes glued to the screen.
It's a bit disappointing that there aren't any full length videos
played, like when Gorillaz played the same venue on their tour;
but, in fairness, it's a very different kind of show (not least
in length) and no doubt less well-funded than Albarn's likeable
Maybe a DVD a la Super Furry Animals Rings Around The World
or forthcoming Phantom Power would be a good idea, although
perhaps limited Ninja Tunes purse strings could prevent that -
wishful thinking I guess.....
Overall, good music in a good setting, with a good crowd.