#1 King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – The Elephant Hotel Thurs 11th September
It’s no secret to my friends that I’m a little bit obsessed with KGLW at the moment and last nights performance at the Carlton Dry showcase has only increased that obsession. One of the reason they make me so happy when I see them live is because I love to get loose at gigs (in a non-intoxicating/clothes on kinda way) and this band makes it so easy for me to do that.
I first saw the seven piece at last years BIGSOUND where they opened with epic album opener Head On/Pill from 2013 “Float Along – Fill Your Lungs” . That performance blew my mind and fulfilled all my psych rock fantasies in 16 minutes. On Thursday night I was treated to another epic opening performance with freshly released single “Cellophane” from soon to be released album “I’m Your Mind Fuzz”.
KGLW were the talk of the industry panel at BIGSOUND this year and I get why, live their music bursts with energy, an eclectic mix of guitar, thrumming bassline, wailing harmonica and fuzzy vocal effects. Guest keynote speaker Mick Harvey (The Bad Seeds) mentioned in his talk that drummers were sometimes not credited for the role they played in bands. That would be impossible with KGLW who have two and whose timing is fierce and brings an added element to the hyperactive psych sound they produce so well. I love watching those guys literally bouncing out of their seats when they play live.
If you haven’t seen King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard in SE Qld you’ve probably missed out. For all you other lucky buggers living south of the border and overseas, time is on your side. KGLW are about to embark on an international tour and I recommend you catch them in a smaller, intimate environment if you can before they move onto bigger and less accessible stages.
#2 The Harpoons – Brightside Thurs 11th September
On the other end of the sound spectrum is Melbourne four piece The Harpoons whose single Unforgettable dropped at the beginning of the year and is the perfect word to describe their performance last night at The Brightside. Described as modern pop RnB, The Harpoons are all vocally talented, and took turns showcasing those voices throughout their set. That being said it’s Bec Rigby’s sophisticated sultry voice that elevates this band into another dimension, channelling sounds of Detroit and Chicago bringing something new and exciting to Australian shores. The Harpoons have just released their second single “Can we work it out” and are set to release their debut LP ‘Falling for You’ sometime later this year. Keep an ear out for that one.
#3 Spookyland – Alhambra Wed 10th September
There is something haunting and strange about this intense band from Sydney, is it because guitarist Liam Gordon may have had a close encounter of the other kind? Or maybe because bassist Nic Malouf isn’t afraid to break all the rules? Maybe it’s because singer/songwriter Marcus Gordon’s voice is unique and hard to describe – high pitched, nasally almost cartoonish? But fucking awesome live. Whatever it is, the formula works. Listening to Spookyland play their folk alt-rock at Alhambra on Wednesday night I found myself comparing their sound and story telling to Velvet Underground. Dark, brooding almost uncaring if you like them or not, I felt pretty lucky to be sitting in the audience that night to witness what I believe is a band that will gain cult status.
Spookyland will be touring with The Lemonheads soon http://www.thezoo.com.au/?portfolio=the-lemonheads-spookyland and you can check out their latest video Rock and Roll Weakling here