I didn’t know too much about this band before the gig, but they’re a retina-worrying, ear-shredding psychedelic swirl of noise and colour.
Date: July 15, 2015
Venue: Rock City
Tame Impala are the musical mind melt and brainchild of Australian music mastermind Kevin Parker, a man heavily influenced by late 60s/early 70s psychedelic rock, and whose messed up explorations into the cosmic spectrum of music is both awe-inspiring and head-spinning.
Looking like Jesus, sounding like Lennon (connection?), Parker leads his band into Above It Now, a heady, repetitive drone-psych strum which sets the tone of the evening.
A cerebrum-bothering collection of esoteric fuzzy clusters follow, largely plucked from their much-hyped sophomore album Lonerism, and all dripping with psychadelia, all brimming with narcotic chaos and hypnotic calm simultaneously.
Layer upon layer of experimentalism is underpinned by a heady bleed of reverb and loads and loads of fuzz. They make the Flaming Lips sound like The Kooks
At times it’s all a bit pagan; a hippy, shoegazing jam session seamlessly intertwined with White Album-era Beatles set to a kaleidoscopic light display.
Close your eyes and Parker’s voice is eerily John Lennon’s, a ghostly, undulating and nasal replica. It’s evocative of the narcotic highs of the not quite swinging but swaying, staggering 60s; a nod to the hazy, lazy sun-kissed blurry-eyed halcyon days Parker finds such an influence.
Each song is a whirlwind of discord, sounding distorted and detached from its recorded counterpart. But then what’s the point in playing live if you can’t have fun with your own sound, right?
The one exception to the rule is Elephant, perhaps their most well known song, which uses a blues-rock stomp to make the crowd bounce to its swelling bombast.
But it’s the dreamy, mind-altering vibe on Feels Like We Only Go Backwards which steals the show, an other-worldly stoner classic.
They maybe tame – chilled and almost sleepy at times – but Hogan’s Ghost are these Antipodeans tantalisingly mesmerising. Peace out