Gig Review by Chloe Gynne

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

Scala was sweaty even before King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard came onstage. In typical London fashion, everybody was complaining about the tube strike and the fact it is far too hot in the capital. Thankfully, the sold-out room shut up as soon as King Gizzard jumped onstage, a snug fit for the seven-piece.

The Melbourne band could have played an hour of one-minute songs or one single hour-long song and the crowd wouldn’t have noticed. Each song segues seamlessly into the next, especially between openers ‘I’m In Your Mind’ and ‘I’m Not In Your Mind’. The drummers- yes, plural, and all the better for it- seem to play constantly, endlessly, while the rest of the band plough through material, both old and brand new.

The graphics are suitably psychedelic considering the style of 2014 album ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’, but the garage vibes on ‘Hot Wax’ get the crowd moving the most. It’s appropriate that The Count Five’s ‘Psychotic Reaction’ was playing before the band came onstage; this is a band who have clearly ingested the ‘Nuggets’ compilation and have taken the best bits- namely those amazing harmonica solos and spine-tingling riffs- for their own sound.

‘Hot Water’ sees frontman Stu Mackenzie armed with a flute, playing it just as deftly as he does the guitar. The crowd stop for a second; it’s not every day an alternative band plays a flute, of all instruments. But their stillness is short lived as the band launch towards the end of the set, playing even louder than before. By the last song, they are calling back to bits they’ve already played, fusing the refrain in ‘Cellophane’ with other, completely different songs, and somehow pulling it off.

In the rare moments that the band isn’t exuding confidence, they look shocked. Mackenzie himself said at the start of the set that he “didn’t think there would be so many people here”, but the crowd are up for it and full of love for the band. King Gizzard have built up a reputation of being a great live act, and tonight’s show cements that. It was, as all good gigs should be, a total blur.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – The River

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