King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, H. Hawkline: Albert Hall, Manchester

King Gizzard at the Ritz in 2016

King Gizzard at the Ritz in 2016

Returning to Manchester following their stellar performance at Pale Waves last year, Getintothis’ Lily Corke Butters saw King Gizzard unleash their psych rock on the Albert Hall.

The evening light illuminated the church-style windows, creating an unfamiliar but extremely fitting back drop for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

After greeting the crowd, lead singer Stu Mackenzie asked “How ‘bout a bit of rattlesnake?” – which the crowd of course answered with a unanimous cheer. The Aussie, psych-rock, 7-piece clearly specialise in jumping from 0-100 in enthusiasm and volume – no steady song needed for a mellow warm up, just pure psychedelic intensity.

Virtually every member of the audience endured the occasional boot to the head from the steady stream of crowd surfers. But that paled in comparison to the crushing, sweating and dancing in the mosh pit.

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It became hard for anyone but a die-hard fan to distinguish between the end of a song or the continued jam following classics – including The River and Cellophane. However long or loud the song, the band retained their memorable riffs – allowing the audience to sing along, even when there were no lyrics.

Welsh singer-songwriter, H. Hawkline opened the show, clad in his all-white outfit, along with a band to perform the other musical parts. The tuneful, folky, psychedelia echoed that of other Welsh musicians – in particular, Cate le Bon and Euros Childs.

To begin with, the catchy songs, such as Means That Much, did not seem to fit with the heavier approach expected from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Yet, they well all very well-received from the audience, as an almost light introduction into the psychedelic lair of King Gizzard.