Festival Review: GIZZFEST – RNA Showgrounds (25.11.16)

After last year’s success, Gizzfest has returned. Trying to find a fun way to promote your band? Start your own festival was how King Gizzard the Lizard Wizard answered that question. This year’s line-up included favourites like The Babe Rainbow, White Fence and Pond.

 Taking over three stages at Brisbane RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane’s leg of the festival was no less of a hit. The Babe Rainbow and Mild High Club were the lucky live acts to kick off the afternoon. As well as Babaganouj, a friendly face in the Brisbane scene.

Gizzfest is a fascinating creature. As if a flag was waved above the Showgrounds, it seems to attract a time rift of youth aspiring to return to the 70s, the normcores. the mods, the punks, and the ones in between. No one is safe, no one is certainly plain. You either have to have some part of your hair in buns or leave. And yet, it’s why we love it. Pond were almost so ridiculous in their outfits and the way they swayed to their own tunes they were beginning to transform into a satire of themselves. Almost.

No matter, the honesty and kindness of drunks always prevails. I lost friends, made friends, lost friends again, found people I recognized by face but not name, and bumped into people who’s names I knew somewhere in the recess of my brain but the chords of White Fence were too loud for anyone to remember anything.

One of the most unexpected pleasures of the night was Michael Medlicott. From the smaller marquee, it was like a little house erupting gold against the night sky, but we all knew deep down, we were waiting for King Gizzard the Lizard Wizard to start.

Equal parts touring the new album and celebrating old favourites King Gizzard packed the marquee out. Like the beach in winter the crowd went through occasional waves of jostling moshers, but mostly it was one group of happy dancers shaking about en masse. Their new single “Rattlesnake” got its spotlight, and the crowd went nuts for the return of “Cellophane”.

The focus, however, was their latest album Nonagon Infinity. From “Robot Stop” to “Wah Wah”, the chaos of their latest album reverberated through the hot marquee. To the disappointment of many fans, there was no encore at the end of their hour-long set. At the end of the day they were gracious enough to give us a full hour, not some 45 minutes of music and 20 minutes of fluffing around and for that, we’re all grateful for Gizzard.