Review: The Murlocs

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Words by Nadia von Bertouch

Everyone’s favourite uncle (The Murlocs) rolled into town last week to celebrate the release of their ‘Young Blindness’ record and to kick of their Aussie tour.

The night started off with local psych rock act Glass Skies. Having heard a lot of hype, but not seen them live for myself, I was eager to see what the Adelaide band had to offer – and they did not disappoint.

A long and mesmerising opening track set the atmosphere for the night, with intricate, hypnotic guitar riffs, reinforced by a psychedelic backdrop that played throughout the entire evening. This was followed by some of their familiar tunes such as the Triple J featured track ‘Still Here’. Lead vocalist, Josh Van Looy, mixed things up by incorporating a Darth Vader-esque voice effect to the set, as well as shredding a face-melting guitar solo with his teeth. To finish up, The Murlocs front man Ambrose Kenny-Smith jumped on stage to add some harmonica into the mix for Glass Skies closing track ‘Highway’.

Next up was Melbourne six piece, Mangelwurzel, and if the crowd wasn’t already pumping – it was now.

The bands fast-paced and relentless onstage energy was made clear in the opening seconds of their set. Watching Mangelwurzel bounce around on stage is almost a celestial, outer space experience, one that definitely needs to be seen to be believed. No specific genre can quite capture the sound the band produces with influences of punk, ska, and rap all evident in their music. Throw some jazzy trumpet and saxophone solos into the picture, and you’ve got quite a show on your hands!

By the time Mangelwurzel were done, the crowd was rearing to go and eagerly anticipating the appearance of ol’ Uncle Murl.

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The Murlocs

Without missing a beat, The Murlocs jumped on stage and responded to the crowd’s energy already cemented by Mangelwurzel. As the boys rolled through tracks from the new album, the crowd boogied on, echoing the lyrics of some of the crowd favourites such as ‘Compensation’, ‘Adolescence’, and the album title track ‘Young Blindness’. Never had I been part of such a fun-loving, free spirited crowd, who were more content with throwing around a Frisbee than taking snapchats on their iPhones. The bluesy garage sound of the Murlocs rang true with Ambrose hypnotising the audience with his smooth harmonica skills.

The set ended with a crowd request for ‘Space Cadet’ from the bands Loopholes EP, leaving punters on a literal high note! And in answering the Murlocs lyrics ‘when will I grow out of my adolescence?’ I say, hopefully not any time soon!

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