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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at Manchester Academy review

Henry Lewis was lucky enough to witness the sheer psych rock power of the Australian seven piece as they took on Manchester Academy following the release of an incredible five records in 2017.

Henry Lewis

Date published: 23rd Feb 2018

Image: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (credit)

If you're not familiar with Australian seven piece King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard then a, you're massively missing out and b, you've got a lot of catching up to do. 

The band released five albums last year, yes five, and across Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder Of The Universe, The Mild High Club collaboration Sketches of Brunswick East, Polygondwanaland and Gumboot Soup the standard of psychedelic jazz rock is simply sensational. 

With a steady string of releases trickling out since 2014 there is an awful lot of King Gizzard to go at, but the best way to remedy this is to go and watch them live. As a band with two drummers constantly pounding out rhythms, three guitarists, a bassist and a keyboardist there is an ever-present energy that emerges onstage and stays with the crowd throughout.

Add to this some mind melting visuals, projected behind the band throughout the gig - and you're immersed into the all encompassing world of the Giz.

Heads were constantly banging, shoulders always grooving as the band worked through two separate sets, both an hour long with a fifteen minute gap in the middle. Monstrous riffs, cacophonous drums and frenzied singalongs were always on the menu - with 'Rattlesnake', 'Sleep Drifter' and 'Doom City' - all taken from Flying Microtonal Banana - doing the business early doors.

The second half leaned heavily on 2016's Nonagon Infinity and Polygondwanaland, and was a somehow even more rip roaring affair than the first - aided by the fact that the majority of the crowd had used the break to replenish on pints and had got set for another hour of pure, unadulterated psych rock goodness.

The fevered mood within the audience was present from start to finish, and with little gaps between songs it was just a non stop assault that kept everyone moving right up until the cataclysmic climax of 'Gamma Knife'. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are like absolutely nothing else out there and witnessing them live is something anyone who likes guitar music has got to experience.