King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

– GORILLA, MANCHESTER –

The Melbourne-based band share this moment with us at Gorilla, starting off the night with a rapturous applause from the crowd. From the get-go, it’s a complete sensory overload and as all seven members of the band pick up their instruments, within seconds we are treated to ‘Robot Stop’, a new track that weaves its way into 2014’s flute-fuelled ‘Hot Water’. Captivating psychedelic images project behind the Aussies as they capture our attention one instrument at a time. Layered and distorted vocals compliment fuzzy guitars, and it all ties in so well with both drummers (yes, that’s right) simultaneously hitting the notes.

Stu Mckenzie on vocals sings with distortion into his microphone, leading to trippy and dreamy touches that echo off the walls of Gorilla. Ambrose Kenny-Smith dabbles between harmonica and synth, appearing in his element during the unreleased ‘Gamma Knife’ as this harmonica-driven track takes us through a peyote-filled western trip and woah, what a tune. The moshers absolutely eat this up, and attempt their few seconds of fame on the stage crowd surfing and being generally ridiculous.

King Gizzard to no surprise overlook playing the gentle tunes from their latest album Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, one that strays from the band’s usual fuzz-induced dynamite into a more melancholic and acoustic folky-psych.  From what I gather, we’re only treated to ‘Trap Door’ before being shuffled back into a ‘I’m In Your Mind/I’m Not In Your Mind’ fifteen minute brain bending hybrid.

“We’ll play one more, Manchester” are words quickly faded behind the band’s last effort to impress with the very addictive ‘Cellophane’ during their unique brand of psycho flower power.

Lights dim as a sweet innocence fills the room when Mckenzie returns to the empty stage, this time with an acoustic and stripped back version of the very Straya ‘Vegemite’, an ode to the country’s favourite toasted treat turned psychedelic ramble.

Australia’s enormous contribution to [psych] music as of late (Jagwar Ma, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett) is certainly not something to complain about. King Gizzard have released seven albums since 2012, and even still have one due out later this year after joining the family at London-based Heavenly Recordings. They’re a band who aren’t afraid of change, continuously sourcing new instruments like the theremin and sitar, breathing life back in jazz and putting their own twist on ethnic music. All in all, in this breathless, internet saavy age we live in, sometimes it’s nice to space gaze and chill out for a bit to psych music, and King Gizzard really couldn’t have captured the essence of the genre any better.

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Brit Jean

I'm known as Gigs Editor over here at Silent Radio HQ. I've been music blogging and writing in Manchester for the past few years after graduating with a Literature degree back home in Canada. Never have I experienced a city quite like Manchester - so many great gigs and so little time! In 2014 I started an Independent Record label, Blak Hand Records with my best mate, and we aim to put out some of our favourite garage rock and psychedelic artists from both Liverpool and Manchester. We're always looking for contributors so if you love music and writing, get in touch with us at Silent Radio! x