Live Review: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard / Los Bitchos – Troxy, London 23.03.2023

Michael Hundertmark

With over 20 albums under their belt since forming in 2010, King Gizzard have finally come back to London for 2 sold-out shows at Alexandra Palace and Troxy. Tonight they played a solid near 2 hour set with little to no pauses in the set with some psychedelic to enhance the show in the Art Deco intimate setting of the East end’s Troxy Theatre.  

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are an Australian rock band formed in 2010 in Melbourne, Victoria. The band’s current line up consists of Stu Mackenzie, Ambrose Kenny-Smith, Cook Craig, Joey Walker, Lucas Harwood and Michael Cavanagh. They have been producing quality albums since their formation which have seen them experiment with metal, jazz, psych and funk!

Support for the night came from London’s ‘Los Bitchos’ with fans being in for a treat with the bands Latin influenced, highly instrumental set. The star of the band is lead guitarist Serra, who floats about the stage switching occasionally to bongos and getting the whole crowd moving!

As the Melbourne Boys took the stage, the crowd erupted into enthusiastic applause. The band wasted no time, jumping straight into their epic psychedelic prog set with clashing guitars and banging drums! If anyone has ever seen them perform live, King Gizzard play with a ferocious energy that carried their set through the next couple of hours. ‘Hell’ set the tone for a string of metal tracks that sent the pit into a frenzy. Stu called out to the crowd saying, “This next song is about planet earth!” and the crowd knew where we were headed. The thumping guitars and drums of  ‘Hot Wax’ kicked off, and heads began to bob as the band kept the momentum rolling with a song from their album, ‘Polyondwanaland,’ “Inner Cycle.” With a face-melting guitar solo from Joey Walker and heart-stopping drum solos from Michael Cavanagh in between, the band rocked their way through the song’s end for the first real break in the action.  The way the band work is no mean feat, often swapping instruments on stage throughout the evening!

After a guitar change from Stu and Joey, the band slowly began to melt into their next jam. As the music began to swell. King Gizzard have claimed to be in their “jammiest period yet,” and this set was no exception. As with many of King Gizzard’s live shows, the band has refined their sound so well that they can slip in and out of tracks with a seamless transition. The later part of the set descents into surrealism with a fusion between prog rock and jazz and Stu also teased the audience to the likes of  ‘Ice V’ and  ‘Lava’, and ‘Sadie Sorceress’, by singing the main verse rather than Ambrose, and throw in everything into their long career spanning set. ‘A New World’ then transitioned into ‘Altered Beast,’ which had the whole crowd singing along in a frenzy.

They finish with an epic, mesmerising charged version of ‘Am I in Heaven? ’, with teases, ‘Head On/Pill’ ‘Shanghai’ and ‘The Dripping Tap’ mixed in, all delivered with cheerful virtuosity that exhilarates in every sense. The Lizard Wizard is hands down one of the best bands playing live today with spectacular musicianship and precision, shifting through their humongous back catalogue which made up the night with no single dull moment.

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