Alizarin Lizard and Guests @ Refuel 16/03/2012
Refueling with A Lizard
As the new intern for dunedinmusic.com, I was approached as a pair of "fresh ears" to review the recent Alizarin Lizard release party for their latest album "The Weekend Went Without You."
Being new to town and having never heard of the band before, I had no idea what the night had in store for me. I arrived at Re:Fuel nice and early for sound check. The guys turned up and loaded in, looking ever so slightly exhausted and sick to death of carrying drum kit components. It was cool to observe the dynamic between everybody involved, total entourage = approximately 8 people. Considering these folk have been on the road since mid January, everybody seemed to... well... ummm... like each other... Which could perhaps be considered a surprise??? Anyway, they set up and did their thing over the course of an hour or two or three, but probably four. The only guy I actually met was Logan who seemed a particularly cool character with a very welcome sense of humour, walking around the empty venue in his shiny golden cape as if he were Bowie taking in the calm serene of Wembley moments before it filled with the thousands. This is always a great trait to see in a musician, it makes for a good showman personality I reckon!
After pizza & casual fire dancing in The Octagon, I came back in time for the start of the show. First up was Opposite Sex who opened the night really well. The drum/bass/vox duo played a raunchy and rugged set of original punk fueled rants. They certainly had their own distinctive ideas, with aspects of The Pistols, Talking Heads & Pixies weaving an original tapestry of sound. Although at times difficult to digest, harsh and disjointed section changes made for interesting songwriting and kept a modest cluster of seemingly bewildered, yet undeniably committed dancers on their toes at all times. These guys made a great opening act and played for just enough time to give you enough without pissing everybody off.
Next up was Louis Smith. At first I really wasn't too sure... Solo guitar/vocal act, which was as much stand up comedy as anything else. I soon made up my picky mind and took a real liking. This guy is hilarious and a fairly clever and original lyricist. I think it was the song about rimming Paul Homes at a swinger's party that got me on board, but by golly he had me in stitches by the end of it. This set would have been perfect if it was a just a little shorter.
Ok, now we get down to serious business. Julian Temple...
These two words might as well be Jesus Christ because this man is a musical messiah. This was the third time I have had the privilege of being in his performing presence and it really does only get better. This time he was aided by a marvelous drummer named Paul who equaled the front man's talents. For those of you have not seen Julian, make sure you do very soon. He is about to jump ship overseas but hopefully those plans will fall through tragically so we can keep him for ourselves. The songs are polished and seamless tributes to the blues, losing no raw spirit or essence regardless of their musical perfection and attention to detail. Julian's voice is a rich and versatile texture with so much to offer musically, he has a rare gutsy power in the vain of Tom Waits' growl from the depths of the belly. Check out Julian Temple on facebook - I personally recommend "Debt Collector."
On to the main event... Alizarin Lizard.
Having heard bugger all at sound check, I was still completely in the dark & unprepared for what might happen next. For those of you who haven't heard them, this band (as much as I'm sure they won't like to be pigeon holed) would have to be described as something along the lines of 'indie pop rock.' Not really my cup of tea personally, but regardless, I have to give it to them - they played a wicked show. Live, these guys bear all the hallmarks of a hard-working touring band. They were very tight, well oiled and in their zone - which they dayum well should have been after the length of this bloody tour! The venue filled up noticeably for Lizard, I'm told they are pretty well followed here so it was good to see them receive a solid turn out, especially for a Friday night. Not only was the musicianship impressive (drummer particularly solid) but the quality of the show was genuinely very good, top notch one might even say - for a band this size anyway. They had their own lighting guy who is a sizable asset to the whole production and William from Re:Fuel/Strawberry Sound gets a shout out for making this band sound massive, regardless of ceiling height! Ok, there was a bass malfunction halting the show for a rather unfortunate amount of time, but regardless - they pulled it off and it was a very enjoyable night. Well done to all involved for what looked to me like a successful tour! Catch the band live in two weeks at Feastock - as listed on our gig guide @ dunedinmusic.com.
Written by Michael Morris.