The psychedelic sounds of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are in full swing.  The sound is crystal clear, the bar is busy but there’s plenty of room to move on the floor. It’s a sold out gig, but one thing is for sure – Melbourne’s newest live music venue, The Croxton, is a sure-fire winner.

Trippy, colourful projections float across the back wall.  There are so many band members and so much long hair that it’s easy to get lost in the blur.

Songs like ‘I’m In Your Mind’ and ‘Cellophane’ are fast paced with chunky guitar riffs, and there are the slower melodic and dreamier tunes The River do a great job of transforming The Croxton into a giant psychedelic wonderland.

When Goat makes their entrance on to the stage, people pay attention. People really pay attention. Of course, punters have heard about their stage presence and elaborate costumes, but they might  only be seeing them in the flesh for the first time.

They are a band who has successfully created an engaging and intriguing visual and auditory package where so many others fall short.

People not only want to listen to them because they sound so damn good, but they want to watch their every move.  Everyone is making their own interpretation of them in their head.  Some are being carried away to a Chinese opera show.  Some are imagining some kind of mysterious voodoo ceremony.  It is brilliant.

Singers have that signature sweet, slightly high-pitched Swedish sound akin to The Knife, and instrumentally they are a fuse of African beats and psychedelia.  The band members’ masks are both dreamy and nightmarish, and could take the viewer either down a wonderful trip or away to a sinister place.

There are drummers with their faces covered in earthy coloured pieces of stringy-bark like fabric, a guitarist dressed in a black, full robe and an expressionless mask, and the singers in vibrant and colourful hessian-bag like robes and intricate masks donned with feathers and jewels.

As singers jump around the stage with their tambourines to songs like Words and the slower, more tribal Talk to God, it feels as though this is some kind of tribal initiation ritual.  During Goatslaves the singers bounce around the stage so much they look like they are taking part in an aerobics class. But it’s all part of their huge stage presence, to keep the punters engaged and dancing. And crowdsurfing, in this case.

There is no doubt that Goat will be perfect for the big stage at Meredith, and with both bands’ brilliant, intoxicating music and spectacular visual component, it’s easy to see why they are winning fans here and overseas.

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