In the timeless words of Nigel Tufnel in This is Spinal Tap "..but these go to 11"..A day after The Flaming Lips euphoric return to the UK and I've still got a case of chronic cheek-ache from grinning so much between sporadic breaking into song.
Making their entrance from between the legs of a giant gyrating LED goddess, lead singer Wayne Coyne rolled out over a jubilant crowd in a giant inflatable ball, then launched into a breathless and ecstatic Race For the Prize, flanked by furry dancing white yetis, firing flurries of confetti and giant balloons to go bouncing through the auditorium of the 1930's former cinema/music hall/bingo palace....and that was just 10mins into the gig...where do you go from there? ...well the giant gorilla, intergalactic gong, shooting green lasers and strobing flaming megaphone were yet to come.
They must be getting on now but they haven't let up with the ebullience. Famous for their stage antics - mostly completely ridiculous but always a delight - a total unabashed celebration of life: a theme Coyne returns to throughout the night. From anyone else it might sound corny but somehow they tread that line. A healthy contrast to the life-affirming sun-drenched lushness of favourites off The Soft Bulletin and At War with the Mystics came in the darker more experimental material from new album Embryonic. This, their 12th album is sometimes a bit too self-indulgent but their heart is always in the right place. As was palpable in the touching homage to friendship 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' they dedicated to the crowd for their support through 20 years of mad-cap adventures in sound before even breaking the mainstream in the 90s.
Everyone walked out onto a rain-strewn Commercial Road a little bit floaty, slightly dazed from the strobe lasers. not caring about the rain. I'm working on maintaining a fully operational silly bone because I can't seem to hold onto umbrellas.
The Flaming Lips feat Stardeath & The White Dwarves: Borderline