So on to Sunday. The Judaeo-Christian God, who’d been letting the cistern fill up since mid-August, eventually opened the flood-gates and flushed his toilet once more onto the hapless Dublin. This had a fairly negative effect on Hard Working Class Heroes. Example 1: I got wet. Example 2: I had to wear an unfashionable anorak over my already unfashionable attire. Example 3: Fewer people showed up.
Robotnik though, was unmissable. If you were at Meeting House Square or Andrew’s Lane at all during the festival, you’ve seen the video for Puddlestarter he did for Muzu, featuring an anthropomorphic horse with a rainbow umbrella getting super-soaked and making some of the greatest expressions ever recorded while battling Chris Morrin on the floor for supremacy during the instrumental section.
The horse was there again in the Academy 2. Robotnik is someone who does enough to be on the radar for a lot of people, but who doesn’t necessarily fill them with childish joy and enthusiasm for his music. More than 50% of his appeal is in the drama and the visuals, in my opinion. Without the costumes, the supersoaker, the horse, he’s just a guy. I’m sure people would still listen to a degree, but he wouldn’t have the medium-sized status he has right now.
His set was good enough, for what it was. People Walk Away was a highlight. He has a tendency to sound a bit too influenced by the music of the 90s, and at other times he forgets melody. But with Robotnik, image is core. He sang a song about rain dressed in a raincoat. He did some other okay stuff. Then he played Puddlestarter and had an elaborate and slightly too violent fake fight with a horse, who tackled him after the fight was over and forced him to sing the last chorus from the floor. It was fun, not enough fun to make me want to run out and buy the album, but fun.