I was looking forward to this gig, and wasn’t disappointed. Moved from outside “The Custard Factory” (?selective appeal issue?), we were faced with a packed and hot O2 and a stage with several 10-foot high inflatable mushrooms dotted around the stage and venue. It was that kind of gig. Public Service Broadcasting (the other PSB?) delivered a lively and enjoyable set, and are sort of where Kraftwerk, Hawkwind, and Neu! meet with an old style Human League presentation of wry and evocative films and PSB clips of mining, factories, and the Soviet space programme, performed by a bunch of post graduates and a hip Jason Rees-Mogg. I liked them, and venture we will hear more of them. The Flaming Lips are a kind of modern psychedelic/ non-symphonic progressive band with some ravey elements. The visuals were tremendous, and confirm my view that a few bits of kit and imagination produce something better than Roger Waters in an enormodome. Lots of inflatables, confetti, smoke cannons, psychedelic lighting,etc. Theyn did bits from “Yoshi…”, “Yeah Yeah Yeah”, a cover of “Space Oddity” from inside a zorb-ball… Some nice synth work and a sense of humour and ridiculousness throughout. Hugely entertaining.
An enthusiastic and up-for-it audience from 16 to 65, all in on the music, trippiness, fun and shameless spectacle. Some true fans were dressed in interesting “Flaming Lips” outfits (suits covered in seashells, droogs, girls in sequin-covered dresses, chaps in fluorescent clothes, LED fingertips…). I like gigs where some fans are so mad for it they dress up to evoke the band in some way. Strangers came up to me and hugged me afterwards, such were they to share the joy they had felt. Was this because they were on E? It was ravey (not that I’ve ever been to one). Not that I minded – I liked being hugged by friendly people.
It made me think..
You never blow your trip forever. I’ll be seeing them again. An awful lot of people tread water in their purported progressive or psychedelic leanings and shows, but this was the real deal.