Friday, September 9, 2016

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard + Black Mekon: Live at The Hare and Hounds review (7/8/16)

If there was ever a perfect support act for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (which I am shortening to KG as of now) then it was Black Mekon (8/10). I first saw the local garage rock heroes at the Lunar Festival earlier this year and I was blown away by them. They look amazing, with their sharp suits and kato masks. Their music is a sort of mix of classic Elvis Presley style rock'n roll and scuzzy, sleazy blues rock. They have no bass guitars, their singer uses some strange echo mic, and  they have an electric drum labelled 'The Bomb' which sent shocks of bass throughout the room. Despite the technical issues - they claimed to have 'run out of guitars' and that 'you wait an hour for a drum kit and three come at once'. All this proves that Black Mekon are one of Birmingham's best and most exciting bands.
For the past few weeks I've been telling all my friends that I wanted to go see King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (8.8) and none of them had the slightest clue what I was on about. While Tame Impala may the big name in Australian Psychedelic rock music, King Gizzard are arguably the best. Since releasing their first EP in 2011, they have released 8 full length albums at a rate of about two a year. Their most recent 'Nonagon Infinity is 9 tracks of heavy, psych blasted songs that repeat over and over again for all eternity. So its not a surprise that they chose to play the album in full. The moshing started with Robot stop but the madness didn't start until 'Gamma Knife'. The band's mainman Stu Mackenzie did all sort of guitar acrobatics, while the crowd started surfing, throwing pints were thrown, (which was actually quite refreshing in that tiny sold out room),taking shirts off, and even passing joints. The act of a joint being passed in a moshpit is the perfect summary of what King Gizzard's music is about.
KG are so hard working that even after releasing their last album a few months back, they're already playing new tracks from the next one. The first new song had a riff which was reminiscent of Black Sabbath's Iron Man. Yet rather than carrying on in a doomy metal direction becomes more jazzy and danceable. The other new track 'Lord of Lightining' is already a classic KG tune that would have sounded great on 'Nonagon Infinity'. The frenzied moshing gave way to dancing as they played the Santana in 69' esque 'Rivers', and an electric take on NGRI (bloodstain). Stu got out his flute for the latter tracks of Nonagon. there was some awkwartd stage banter because some guy kept requesting Tame Impala tunes. One of the guitarists bragged about having Kevin Parker's phone number, and a they did a short 30 jam, saying that it was one of Tame Impala's songs. they finished with the last few tunes of Nonagon Infinity and walked off with no encores after what felt nothing like 90 minutes.


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