Review: Gizzfest at Thebarton Theatre

Words by Morgan Sette

Rattle Rattle Rattle

The Thebbie Theatre hosted Gizzfest on Saturday, with a sweet lineup of acts featuring Mild High Club, The Murlocs, White Fence, Dinner, Pond, Boulevards, and King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard

Evening out the predominately U.S. acts, Gizzfest also hosted a pop up stage outside curated by Swirl Records, featuring local legends Somnium, Siamese and Druid Fluids crammed into a little shipping container and getting cozy with the crowd. 

With no shortage of doc martens and face glitter, the setting of the outdoor area had punters gathering close and resembled the friendly atmosphere of a slightly larger than normal house party. Although not quite breaking a festival feeling, there was still plenty of flare jeans, beer and other substances around for everyone to get merry from the get go.

Somnium kicked off the festival in their 2x6 shipping container, having punters squeeze their way in early on. The loud tin shed continued to be one of the highlights of the day as Siamese and Druid Fluids packed it even further, with limbs coming out of the doorway and a water sack circulating the hot shed. 

After feeling the tin shed literally vibrating from noise, one punter commented “what a shipment” after hearing Siamese pack it out and get sweaty, killing it with originals and a Wytches cover. 

The shipping container stage should have been a complete disaster, yet it was surprisingly a lot of fun, with punters actually pretty nice about sharing the tight space. Throughout Druid Fluids, it compacted into a mosh pit that saw maybe 20-30 people squeezed into what should have been around a 12 person capacity. 

Meanwhile on the other stage, the vibe was way more relaxed with Mild High Club bringing everyone down a notch with their droning sound, feeling like it was heavily drawing from the members’ involvement in Mac Demarco. 

Melbourne band The Murlocs, a personal favourite, sparked a note of difference among the lineup ripping out a harmonica and having the crowd grooving along. White Fence’s front man fitting into the scene of girls in flare pants with his mod look, spitting out UK-esque psych-rock that disjointedly changes ideas mid-song.

The crowdsurfers started and didn’t stop as Pond got the crowd moving, even at the wrong moments as Nicholas Allbrook comments “there's nothing quite as powerful as a silent crowdsurf”. It’s hard to deny how far they’ve come with a set tighter than the keyboard player’s wife beater and gold sequin jacket aesthetic. 

A overextended gap between Pond and King Gizzard had people feeling anxious to see the headliner, with a smaller crowd sitting outside together realising how drunk they were under the glaring lights. Worth the wait, King Gizz wasted no time playing a huge range of tracks from their incredibly large back catalogue, including a few new songs, tracks off Nonagon Infinity, In Your Mind Fuzz and ending with an epic, rightly extended ‘Rattlesnake’. The custom made microtonal guitars enhanced the psych rocker’s onstage presence for a happy, wacky show.

The night finished off with a merry group of guys screaming the lyrics to 'Under The Bridge' by Red Hot Chilli Peppers as they exited the hall - it was a diverse group but one that felt like they were there to support their mates, the music and the upcoming summer with a good attitude.