When Matt King announced he was going to don the feathered coat and eyeliner again to tour as his Peep Show alter ego “Super Hans”, there were questions asked about his intentions. Was he going to stay true to the ‘Big Beat Manifesto’? Will the set include a powerful sense of dread? What happened to the Macedonian moped rental business Hans said he would be setting up? The sceptics glumly speculated King was merely trying to capitalise on the character’s popularity in the aftermath of Peep Show’s ending. In reality, I am pleased to say, Super Hans was lively and authentic. King is clearly revelling in the opportunity to give the show’s cult of fans a celebration of the beloved character, and the night I had at Fibbers was loud, dumb and a lot of fun.
The warmup act was presented by the live acapella mixing of Vox Cornelius. His ability to grow a song by spontaneously adding layers of vocals clearly wasn’t as exciting as the “big ketty beats” that were to follow, but the technical wizardry on display certainly made for an absorbing opener. From the moment Hans came on it was clear that King is a showman. He channelled the charisma of his character, and was well equipped with all the favourite quotes and amateur philosophy that Hans is known for. King isn’t quite as funny as Super Hans is on the show, however, and sometimes you can see a little of the man behind the mask – but this is forgivable given the clear and sincere effort he’s undertaken to make the set authentic and full of fan-service.
The music itself wasn’t bad either. Hans was flanked by a couple of DJ veterans in the form of Pablo “Psycho Pab” Clements and James “The Hombre” Griffith from UNKLE. The big beat remixes that they came up with possess bass that hits you so hard, it makes you feel like you’ve just done 100 sit-ups. Some highlights included a reggae interval, which provided some welcome relief to my bass-beaten body, as well as a remix of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ that was so good that I spent a long time trying and failing to find it online for my own Halloween party. The music was loud and reckless, which perfectly complimented the anarchic stylings of the host.
One question that must be answered, however, is whether Super Hans is any fun for people who haven’t watched Peep Show. The tickets for this particular gig were £16, so it’s understandable that a person who can’t enjoy the endless referencing and quoting might not want to fork out just to see the manic and punchy DJ set.
To people who haven’t watched Peep Show, I say first: what are you doing? And second: Super Hans is still a great night, even if you don’t know the show from back to front. It may be a little pricey, but if you have enough friends going and are willing to accommodate a constant feeling of being left out, then just enjoy the music. To Peep Show fans I say this: gather ye pearls while the hog walks and crank up the orgonometer; we finally have something to cure our post 9/11 boredom.By Matt McKee