King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard // Grace Cummings // Live Review // The Beacon // Bristol

Perhaps the most curious and adventurous band of our generation, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard paid a visit to Bristol’s newly reopened Beacon concert hall last night for a masterclass deep dive into the every-genre back catalogue of Australia’s most prolific band.
With fellow Australian and close friend of the band Grace Cummings in tow, performing her second show back, having regrettably had to cancel support appearances earlier in the tour due to ill health, Grace and her band put on a moody, atmospheric set of imposing alt-country rock come dark indie.
Boasting an ethereal intensity to her luscious booming voice, Grace opened with a rousing mid-tempo tune at the keyboard, gradually bringing each instrument into the mix for a foreboding but grabbing opener.
Fan favourite ‘Storm Queen’ delved deeper into the distorted dark-country twang, with an ever-present undertone of foreboding menace and sincerity.
The bright clean guitar tones that opened the track generated a textural quality that later cut through to a powerful amplified distortion, climaxing to a euphoric finale.
Her tone, in voice and on the guitar bellows a fierce independence in its delivery, crescendoing to a rip-roaring guitar solo outro on the track.
Her set flew by with finesse and then juxtaposed immensely with the headliner’s gritty, garage sensibility, as the crowd would soon find out.


Upon King Gizzard’s arrival, the Beacon’s capacity audience was tormented with a teasing yet meticulous sound check as the band and their crew collectively wheeled out the latest fixture in their live arsenal – a rolling table stacked to capacity with a myriad of electronic synthesisers, programmers and modulators.
One by one, players Lucas Harwood, Cook Craig, Joey Walker and Stu Mackenzie’s tinkering with their instruments generated an encompassing, stirring wall of synthesised beats and melodic flourishes, eventually forming the recognisable title track from their latest 2023 album ‘The Silver Cord’.
Walker and Mackenzie’s heavily modulated vocal harmony was at once captivating but deeply unsettling. It was resembling a sensual alien voice speaking of rebirth and self-actualisation.
Revelling in two further electronic-driven numbers, ‘Extinction’ and ‘Gondii’, the latter introducing the acoustic drumming of Michael Cavanagh captivated the audience, many of whom had followed the entire UK leg of the tour without fail.
“Fuck we’re a weird band… Do you love it?” asked Walker as the band transitioned to their regular stringed instruments, only to indulge in a 25 minute enslaught of the heaviest material the band has written (to date). Tracks from 2019 garage-thrash metal album ‘Infest The Rat’s Nest’ were interspersed with complex ragers from 2023’s ‘Petrodragonic Apocalypse’, opening unusually colourful mosh pits of tie-dye t-shirts churning together.
Much of the remainder of the night saw Gizz explore their finely tuned jam band skillset, through ‘Ice V’ and the monumentally epic ‘Hypertension’, itself protracted out to a captivating 20 minutes in length.
Classic ‘Work This Time’ offered a brief respite before melting the minds of Bristol’s onlookers with ‘Pleura’ and ‘Billabong Valley’, tunes from the band’s repertoire of microtonal music. Played on custom built 6-string guitars with additional micro tone frets, these allow the band to explore an eastern sounding modal scale, whilst somehow still managing to be ground shatteringly rocking, as was certainly the case on ‘Pleura’.
With energy at fever pitch, multi-instrumentalist and singer Ambrose Kenny-Smith took lead vocal duties for ‘Billabong Valley’, a story of 1800’s outlaw country Australia. Spending the majority of the performance in the throb of the crowd, Ambrose matched the fan’s energy with a soaring sing-along, only to expel any remaining energy back on the stage, racing and jumping, as the song gradually slowed down to a thudding finale.
Review + Photography: Mike Lockheart @first3only