Say Psych: Live Review: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard & H. Hawkline – Albert Hall, Manchester, 14.06.2017

Australians King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard have garnered an enviable reputation for their superb live performances and insanely catchy music which traverses several genres to ensure they have an ever increasing fan base.

Having played Manchester on several occasions to ever increasing in size venues, tonight Now Wave and Strange Days have teamed up to bring them to a sold out Albert Hall.

Support comes in the form of H. Hawkline, a Welsh man signed to Heavenly Recordings with a large sound supported by a band who fulfil his ambitions. On 2nd June he released his second album I Romanticize which was recorded in Los Angeles, and his set tonight comprises mostly of songs from it. Of particular note is ‘Last Thing on Your Mind’, a dream pop number with a delicious beat which rounds of the set and sets the mood perfectly things to come.

We are entertained in the break by guest DJ Jeff O’Toole who judges the mood perfectly with his choice of tunes.

King Gizzard take the stage and begin with ‘Rattlesnake’, a pacey bouncy track taken from Flying Microtonal Banana, their ninth studio album released in February 2017 on Heavenly Recordings. Front man Stu Mackenzie displays his usual controlled mania and the crowd lap it up, going crazy down the front whilst the rest of the venue groove along contentedly. ‘Billabong Valley’ sees a changing of the guard, with Ambrose Kenny-Smith providing the main vocals and Stu moving over to provide the keys. Executed faster than the recorded version, buoyancy emanates from the stage.

‘Sleep Drifter’ utilises motorik drumming courtesy of their two drummers, creating a krautrock groove any Can fan can relate too and continue with this theme with ‘Open Water’ adding pacey guitar riffs and a booming bass line.

‘Nonagon Infinity’, the title track from the 2016 album is the first of three tracks from the album, with ‘Gamma Knife’ and ‘People-Vultures’ following. The trio call on slightly darker influences than its predecessors and yet still go down with rapture; crowd surfers galore and plenty of jumping to be seen.

The beginning of the end comes in the form of ‘The Lord of Lightning’, their latest single before we take a step back to ‘Cellophane’ from 2014 album I’m In Your Mind, Fuzz and then ‘The River’ from 2015s Quarter! concludes matters.

King Gizzard have raised the bar, once again, tonight with a mesmerising live performance that has resulted in a very hot and sticky crowd leaving the venue. You have to wonder when this band are going to stop getting better, but with yet another album imminent, it would appear not any time soon.

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