The Fleece – 17th February | Photos: Tim Ellis
Melbourne septet King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard formed in 2010 and have so far managed to release seven albums in four years, but despite this, tonight is their first time in Bristol. Before the gig the crowd are already rather excitable. Whilst the support act takes to the stage rowdy students are talking about climbing the Fleece’s structural pillars in order to get a better view.
The night’s support comes from London three-piece Yak. They play fast-paced garage rock reminiscent of possibly forgotten Detroit band the Von Bondies. It might not be the most original sound in the world but Yak play with so much energy and dexterity that it puts them ahead of peers such as Drenge.
Yak’s music gets the crowd energised so much that the band have to join in, with frontman Oliver Burslem leaping into the crowd at various points in their set. They go down so well that there is no doubt that Yak will be back to headline within a year or two.
The full seven piece King Gizzard line-up are here tonight complete with three guitarists, two drummers, a bassist and a harmonica player. The band launch into a new song, presumably off their next album which is apparently named Nonagon Infinity. It is a fast paced psychedelic rock song with it’s frantic riffage and flute solos setting a precedent for the rest of the gig.
About half of the set seems to be comprised of unfamiliar new songs which does not seem to bother the crowd who are clearly fans of the band’s more rockier material. The new songs mark a return to the psych-rock sound of 2014’s I’m in your mind fuzz, which pleases the moshers who push each other around near the front.
‘Trapdoor’ from last year’s Papier mâché Dream Balloon is played early on. Sadly this is the only track from their most recent album to be aired tonight. It would have been nice to hear more tracks from last year’s largely acoustic album but those songs have been omitted in favour of the faster electrified material which seems to go down well with the audience. Ten-minute jam ‘the River’ is a highlight of the set with it’s slightly jazzy meandering proving it to be a strange song to mosh to. The track’s lengthiness and false endings lead to a confusion of when to applaud.
Someone shouts out a request for 2014’s ‘Cellophane’ and the band happily oblige with a frenzied rendition of the psych rock anthem. The band then finish with another new song and don’t return for an encore despite the entirety of the Fleece begging for more. Having seven albums to their name and a new one on the way, the band only play for just over an hour.
This is the main disappointment with the gig as they could have at least came back for a couple more songs, especially as they had twenty minutes left until curfew. Despite all the unfamiliar new material and the lack of encore nobody leaves the venue disappointed as the King Gizzard live show is a must for fans of contemporary psychedelic rock.
Check out ‘Hot Wax’ right here: