Gorillaz REVIEW: Monkey Business at All Points East

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Trip-hoppy Last Living Souls follows from the hugely popular Demon Days album, its off-kilter tempo changes and pulse like drum machine fused with lead singer Damon Albarn’s anguished lyrics. Thumping drums are layered with Albarn’s hypnotic harmonica and hallucinatory vocals on Tomorrow Comes Today. This is utterly immersive with the band’s iconic caricatures fading in and out mysteriously on the screens behind them.

Trademark track 19-2000 gets the crowd going with its memorable motor sound effects revving up the pace of the set. Upbeat chorus ‘You’ve got the cool, you’ve got the cool shoe shine’ creating an extremely catchy melody.

New bop Cracker Island has a groove that will surely be a future floor filler with its rave roots. Wistful lyricism set against a backdrop of dramatic imagery on Melancholy Hill is another highlight.

On the psychedelic New Gold Albarn brings on Tame Impala- a headliner from next weekend’s All Points East Festival- from his eclectic array of guests in what is a World premiere of the track.

Throughout the set Damon Albarn is an energetic frontman, diving into the crowd at regular intervals, picking up a blue wig and then a monkey hat- proudly showing them off on stage.

At one-point Albarn said this was the closest concert to where he grew up, and it had a feel of a homecoming celebration- much to the convenience of the East London revellers as this was all taking place on yet another tube and train and strike day.

Broken is another trip hop treat from their most recent studio album Plastic Beach, and the slick drum beats and police chase visuals featuring Bruce Willis energise the crowd.

Single Stylo with its punchy rap from hip hop legend guest Mos Def delights, with the audience in the palm of his and Albarn’s hands at this point.

Shortly after a brief interlude, dancefloor hit Dirty Harry melts deliciously into Dare, during which legendary Happy Monday’s lead singer Shaun Ryder joins the band on stage, and is clearly a very popular figure with the crowd.

For the encore Feel Good Inc is sublime, the venomous vocals of guest Posdnuos from De La Soul whipping up a storm with tonight’s packed main stage crowd in pure party mode, escaping the chaos of train and tube strikes they had battled with to get there.

Closer Clint Eastwood is met with a wave of euphoria engulfing Victoria Park, leaving fans with the feeling that – at least for now – the future is coming on.

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