While most people are snuggled up watching a romantic movie and eating a Chinese takeaway in bed on Valentine’s night, the rest of us are upstairs in Whelan’s awaiting the outrageous Dublin artist that is Robotnik.
Supported by fellow Dublin band 8Ball, the electro sextet played a great set with a diverse use of percussion instruments and live samples. Also, one great thing about this band is they way they operate live, swapping instruments for each song, showing how talented they all are.
Shortly after 8Ball wrapped up, Robotnik, aka Chris Morrin, made his entrance onto the stage wearing blue framed sunglasses and a classic Boy Scout shirt, going for the innocent yet slightly crazy look. Along with Martin Osbourne taking care of mixing and sampling, the only other objects occupying the stage were a few pieces of equipment and an old armchair, that later proved to be useful to randomly jump on as Morrin wished. The set opened with -Piece Of Mind’, which was shortly followed by his well known single -People Walk Away’. The venue might not be the biggest but it was definitely full and the majority were able to sing along to each song, proving how popular Robotnik is.
Infamously known for being quite outlandish on stage, the first fifteen minutes of the show was reasonably relaxed. Bit by bit, the energy of Morrin became more and more built up as he progressed from -I Found Jesus in the Year 2027′ into -A Secret Cake Experience’. At this stage Morrin was rocking out on stage and the crowd loved every minute of it. Calming down to grab his guitar for -Dog With No Tail’, it was obvious that with every second the crowd was anticipating what he had planned next.
They didn’t have to wait long before Morrin grabbed a torch and marched off the stage through the crowd singing the opening lines to his song -Lazy Boy’. Lighting his face like the song was a ghost story, the lights dimmed and he sang the line “I’m so lazy lazy” with everyone was focusing on Morrin’s face as his expressions acted out the lyrics.
The greatest song of the night had to be -Puddlestarter’, which involved a massive water pistol and a lot of people getting wet. Morrin also kicked open the fire exit door beside the stage, leading into the smoking area and drenched the crowd outside, many of them not knowing what was going on. Despite the fun, one onlooker was not so impressed by the antics and decided to throw a pint of water over the showman leaving him looking wet and bewildered. Regardless of what had just happened and fearless that he might be electrocuted by the fact that his distortion pedals had droplets of water all over them, as the saying goes the show must go on and that’s exactly what happened. Robotnik’s fantastic finale was his version of -Pat the Baker’ which also involved distributing an infamous Pat the Baker sliced pan around the room in true Chris Morrin style.
Nobody else could get away with what he does. It’s a surprise that he does not get the media coverage that he deserves and that he has not yet been picked up by a record label. On the other hand 2009 may be the year when the Irish take heed of this performer and realise how talented he is.
Photos by Martina Leonard.