King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at Brixton Academy 21/2/18

Jay Jay Okocha was so good he was named twice, well King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are so good they play twice… on the same night… at the same show… yet are still able to leave you wanting more. Such is the power of the Australian septet who on Wednesday evening played a mammoth show at London’s Brixton academy on the back of a batshit 2017 which saw the outfit release 5 albums.

The first set exploded into life with ‘Rattlesnake’ sending the crowd into a chaotic fury, the sort of chaotic fury you’d expect from landing at Tilted Towers in Fortnite. All hell broke loose. From then on out it was clear to all present that tonight would not let out. The first half which followed was a purely microtonal set, with the core made up from their first album of 2017 ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ and the rest being garnished from Gumboot soup and Sketches. But the most highlight of this set was the closer ‘Doom City’, well more specifically the outro. A seamless transition into the final 2 minutes of ‘Crumbling Castle’ sent this well constructed microtonal set into a furious finish fitting considering how proceedings were kicked off.

After a short interval, a second set ensued made up heavily of Polygondwanaland, Nonagon Infinity and Murder of the Universe which saw a somehow even more lively set than its predecessor. Cellophane went down as you’d expect, as did a Nonagon combo breaker of ‘Robot Stop’, ‘Big Fig Wasp’ and ‘Gamma knife’ which had the tenacity to strip the walls of Brixton academy. But it was the trio of tracks from Polygondwanaland which came across the best, the free to download album was showcased through its self-titled track, crumbling castle and the fourth colour.

Everything was executed to perfection, in particular the microtonal set but it felt as if there was something missing. Too many microtones? Perhaps. Two sets laid the foundations for something a bit different, a chance to play some material which seldom gets a live outing, it was crying out for a head on/Pill or a Hot Wax type figure. Or even perhaps some more from Polygondwanaland or Gumboot Soup. The longing for more sums up just how prolific the band were in 2017 if after two sets you can go away disappointed they didn’t play XYZ, but with 13 albums in 5 years this was always going to be the case.

Selling out Brixton, their biggest headline show to date, with ease and already armed with a formidable back catalogue; King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have shown once again they’re one of the best live outfits around currently. It almost doesn’t matter what they play it’s bound to be biblical.

Words: Joey Daniel

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