Ok, so I might be a bit slow here, but this was first time seeing “The Gizz”. When you check out a band with this kind of reputation, you know they are not going to be run-of-the-mill, which they certainly were not. Walking in I got to catch the end of Altin Günn’s set, who had the already-healthy crowd in attendance loving their work. Altin Günn are a Turkish folk psych outfit from Amsterdam – yes you just read that! They are dreamy, screamy, and roll like waves, entertaining and with a different sound, as you might expect.
The results are compelling; a fusion of modern psych-rock elements with the Turkish singing style of Merve and Erdinc, who also plays the traditional Turkish stringed instrument called the saz, also called a bağlama. (I found after doing some research that the saz is unique in that the frets are movable so it can make less common and very melodic scales.) The sound was special and so were Altin Günn. If you get the chance check these guys out.
Next up were Tropical Fuck Storm, formed by Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin after taking a hiatus from The Drones. Lauren Hammel, from the band High Tension, plays drums, and Erica Dunn, from the bands MOD CON, Harmony and Palm Springs, plays guitars, keyboards, and other instruments. You could say a sort of punk/psych supergroup as such. It was loud – at the start almost like 80’s synth pop meets new wave psych – and sounded like a freeform jam session with LOTS of volume and screaming guitars. Gareth Liddiard as usual was very animated as he bent notes from the floor to the sky. It was a set of diverse sounds and songs, which included a very hard-to-pick cover of the Divinyls ‘Back to the Wal'” sung by Kitschin. The crowd gave them a good response, but I think by then we’d had enough entrée and were ready for the main course of Gizzard.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard had not even taken the stage, and the frothing crowd was primed to explode. It was like a bubbling witches’ cauldron. Even the roadies were getting cheers, and as the stage and house lights dropped down, and the projected backdrop filled the back of the stage, a calamitous roar filled the room. A charged atmosphere for the full-house Tivoli.
And then it was on for young and old, like seven of your mates playing Guitar Hero on acid. The set up is like no other; two drummers side-on to the audience facing each other, multiple guitarists and bass players (it seems like the keyboard was the only lone ranger). The cacophony of sound was amazing. It is what I believe King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard are all about, with sight and sound and filling as much of the senses as possible.
There are many layered instrumental parts in the songs, and the crowd was even singing along to the instrumental melodies, which is something you don’t see every day. The backdrop was epic, the sound was next-level, and the audience had definitely come to play; when ‘Crumbling Castle’ was played, they went ballistic. With songs like this running for well over 10 minutes, it was not going to be a 30- song Ramones set. My personal highlight was ‘People-Vultures’, the old ‘Rattlesnake’ seemed to get the loudest reaction from the room. Seems like earplugs were standard issue, and boy you needed them, as the Tivoli really holds sound well.
It was a great performance, and maybe smaller venue performances for King Gizzard are going to be rarer now, with their overseas tour being hailed a real success. I was completely impressed, and given another chance I will be once again checking out “The Gizz”.
IMAGES (c) Tarni Eastwood