Do you realise…

… that The Flaming Lips are one of the best live rock bands on Planet Earth?

I saw them play at The Palace last night (shit venue, I know, but the mix was perfect even up the front), and they had me hooked from the moment they walked on stage in headless bunny and cow suits.

There’s a review of the gig here (for now).

The Royal Dave Graney show may have had something to do with the degree to which I was impressed – they sucked like a 110-volt vacuum cleaner carried to a 240-volt country such as Australia by an unsuspecting migrating family who mistakenly buy plug converters without realising the voltage is different thereby supplying an unexpectedly high voltage to their vacuum cleaner which sucks harder than usual, amusingly.


As the first track opened, TFL showered the audience with giant balloons and confetti while extras in animal costumes frolicked on both sides of the stage. If I was a reviewer, I’d say the sheer driving power of their simple beats and giant, radiant riffs sustained the set’s energy even through lead singer Wayne Coyne’s protracted (but still rather touching) speeches about love, war, suicide and The White Stripes. However, I won’t say that. I’ll probably just say something like “then they played a few really good songs, and I danced and shouted and waved my arms around”.

“Do You Realise” was awesome, and perfectly complemented by a video screen displaying kickboxing nude women radiating shafts of golden light (but then, to my mind most things are). Many of the songs were synchronised with video footage, as well as effects and recorded tracks from the original version. As a four-piece they have trouble recreating the full effect of the album, but… who wouldn’t?

“Thank you Jack White (for the fibre-optic Jesus that you gave me)” was also pretty fucking cool, and for good measure Coyne threw in the complete back-story and a couple of anecdotes in the middle.

A great, great gig. Makes so-called “eccentric” Australian acts like the Royal Dave Graney Show look like a pack of accountants on a field trip to a calculator factory. Actually, scratch that. It would be kind of interesting.

Oh yeah, and I bumped into Jon English, a guy who’s mostly famous for being in Pirates of Penzance since way back in the days when there were actual pirates living in Penzance. Shannon and I and a friend of hers were eating ice-creams in the car-park of a 7-11 petrol station, and started chatting to him about our night. He’d been to see Paris, the stage show. We told him about the Flaming Lips gig, and he said something about Peter Frampton doing that, or someone like that. He was very enthusiastic, but his GAY LOVER was very reserved. Guess who’s top?

Oh yeah, and far from just having dark eyes, it seems that the entire upper half of Jon English’s face has now caved in. And the whites of his eyes were deep yellow. That’s some fucked up shit.

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