The seven headed psych-rock juggernaut that is King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard just keep going from strength to strength and the second edition of their self-curated mini festival “Gizz Fest” was the fuzz drenched exclamation point on a huge year for the Melbourne lads.
The cruisey sounds of Mild High Club set a perfect tone for our entrance to the festival. Their slower pace and spacey sound had me floating through the gates and breezing up to the surprisingly empty bar before settling in to enjoy their set. They were a great way to start the day and had me hotly anticipating the increasingly heavier line up that was to follow.
Kicking it up a couple of notches, The Murlocs hit the stage for a surprisingly short yet awesome set. They only had half an hour and absolutely made the most of it with Ambrose Kenny Smiths howling voice and equally howling harmonica propelling the music and the crowd ever forward. While sharing members with King Gizz they are 100% their own beast and headline material in their own right.
A slight diversion to the smaller stage to catch a slice of The Babe Rainbow was well worth it. The Byron Bay lads have an unashamedly fun, retro surf sound and had the crowd right into their vibe.
White Fences “trippy-pop” was perfectly at home in this line up and while not having heard them before their warped energy and plainly great songs made it a treat to jump onto their psychedelic party bus and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Pond! Pond! Oh my Pond! As the musical epitome of the phrase “If I had to explain you wouldn’t understand” there’s not much I need to say here. They simply played a killer hour of old and new stuff with Giant Tortoise a high point. I could have left right then and there a very happy punter.
The crowd were well and truly lubed up by the time King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard hit the stage where they promptly set about administering a forceful psych-sonic probing of every musical orifice within a 500m radius. Opening their set with Gamma Knife closely followed by “People Vultures” had heads banging, hair flying and sweat dripping through the whole tent. They hardly gave the crowd a chance to breathe while surging through a blistering set of mainly newer material backed by some amazing visuals, a real complete package. Personal favourites, Road Train and the slightly older I’m in your mind got a thorough going over while latest single Rattlesnake was a perfect (over 10 minute) closer to an all to short (sorry to drop in a downer) 1 hour headline set.
I have never seen such a young band with such a clear identity. They know who they are and what they want to do even if the music industry doesn’t. Who else could receive an Aria nomination for Best Jazz Album one year and Best Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Album the following year?
King Gizzard may never take over the world but they don’t need to! They have in a few short years created their own psychedelic utopia to rule over as much loved emperors.
See you next year and Long live the Kings!!!!
IMAGES (c) Jake Wilton Photography