Review: Druid Fluids 'Dr. Miller' single launch at Jive

Written by Matthew Hayward 
Photos by Nick Horvat

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Summer was in full swing for Friday evening's launch, with energised locals Druid Fluids launching their new single 'Dr. Miller' with help from Somnium and Zen Panda at Jive.

Openers Zen Panda proceeded to tear through their early set at lightning pace, with jovial front man Sam Lavers resplendent in all his animated glory. Taking their cues from the more radio friendly side of The Belligerents and Pond's back catalogue, the band played a lively and theatrical set that was both irreverent and entertaining. Bounding around the stage like the musical equivalent of a golden retriever, Lavers and his cohort played pied piper to the steadily growing audience. With a strong selection of songs taken from their self-titled EP (including 'Wet Fish' and 'Ego') as well as newer tracks such as 'Cassell’s German Dictionary' and the acoustic 'Can You See', the band charmed the crowd with their brand of infectious psych-power-pop.

Having recently returned from a Western Australian jaunt with fellow psych rockers the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Somnium remain a welcome yet curious beast in the local scene. The oddball acid jazz freak out of 'Mystical Kookoo' was a highlight of their now road tested set, with Desert Sessions inspired homage 'Interlude for the Swanson Child' a close second in terms of sheer technical prowess. Vocally, singer/guitarist James Dawes reminds me of Forever Dolphin Love-era Connan Mockasin channeling Syd Barrett’s bucket list (which I assume would have something to do with locating his third eye whilst ordering takeaway). The band have improved measurably as a live spectacle since the beginning of the year and here’s looking forward to the next release.

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With Colourfool’s liquid light show in full effect Druid Fluids took to the stage to deliver their most cohesive set of the year.

With their introductory refrain akin to King Crimson the band lit up the audience with their jam based high priest psychedelica. With elements taken from their 'Voodoo Jam' and 'Bindies' demo guitarist and vocalist Jamie Andrew swung into groove, awash with flange and unassuming confidence in their new material. Their stand alone and latest single 'Dr. Miller' signifies a band working towards distilling the essence of what makes them so popular into a more sonically palatable force.

It was a strong showing from three of Adelaide’s most promising local bands - and a positive reflection of the growing popularity in the new wave of psychedelic rock bands emerging from the festival city to date.