KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD LIVE AT THE STANDARD

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD LIVE AT THE STANDARD

11th November 2013 // By Hannah Chapman // Music Madness
By Hannah Chapman The lesson I learned after seeing King Gizzard play is that I miss seeing live music featuring harmonica. That underrated little bar of air channels and reeds filters breath into some hard-hitting majesty that makes you want to chew hay and drink whisky in the best way possible. And when you filter it through the tripped out effects favoured by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, it’s a whole other kind of wonderful altogether. You get the vibe that this band was built on jam sessions between friends. This is suggested by the sheer number of members and styles; there are two drummers, four vocalists plus tunes as varied as Doorsy 70s rock, to Delta blues riffs, and all kinds of other genres shining through the ever-present psychedelic meanderings… Somehow you can’t help but imagine the process behind this group’s music involved long Sundays in a garage or living room with lots of spliffs, instrument-swapping, and a massive array of records.

So many bands seem to be unable to extract themselves from a marketing perspective and try to cultivate a particular single-worthy sound with the ultimate aim of being something that is easily sellable. But King Gizzard are all over the shop, 15 minute tripped out journeys with fluid tempos are followed by short and sweet (but still tripped out) pop tracks. There’s an evident underlying love for music present throughout their music.

So many bands seem to be unable to extract themselves from a marketing perspective and try to cultivate a particular single-worthy sound with the ultimate aim of being something that is easily sellable. But King Gizzard are all over the shop, 15 minute tripped out journeys with fluid tempos are followed by short and sweet (but still tripped out) pop tracks. There’s an evident underlying love for music present throughout their music.

But I digress from the actual show. Once upon a Halloween Saturday on Oxford St I wove between many a costumed harlot and ubiquitous drunken lout to make my way to see King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard played at the Standard. The band are promoting their second album “Float Along – Fill Your Lungs”. Even without the band’s self-description as “completely fried therein wielding psychopaths”, there was enough tie-dye, unkempt hair and natural fibres among the crowd at the Standard to guesstimate some kind of psychedelic appreciation. Also that bunch of girls in the bathroom shrieking about how they were too gone on LSD to lose their friends while spraying sickly sweet perfume all over themselves and everyone around them in a bid to create some kind of fairy floss-scented protective spell was a bit of a giveaway. Plus, you know, “Lizard Wizard” is something that could probably only be thought up by trippers, children, or rhyming enthusiasts. And now that I think about it, would have made a flipping sweet and thematically relevant Halloween costume. The band breezed through their collection of tracks with a few sound hiccups that were always resolved in very chilled way. There was more bopping and crowd enthusiasm than I have seen at the Standard in quite some time, as usually I associate this venue with too-cool crowds with their backs up on a metaphorical wall. There was even some super considerate crowd surfing, featuring worried-looking security guards with enough intelligence to realise breaking it up would have resulted in way more injury than letting it play out. Watching the blissed out concertgoers sailing around on a sea of hands while long hair, guitars and mid-ranges flew around in a stew of psychedelic rock on the stage was an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday night. Other excellent uses of “Float Along – Fill Your Lungs” so far have included Sunday morning breakfast cooking, and keeping rage at bay while stuck in traffic. Photography by Tafa Rock.

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