Originating from Bahrain and born out of a smorgasbord of diverse cultural influences, from Nepal to Japan to Tanzania, Flamingods certainly have a refreshingly international outlook, with a clear leaning to the Eastern Hemisphere. This vibrant melting pot brings lesser known instruments into the fore, such as the phin guitar from Thailand or various Middle Eastern drums, and helps to ensure their own brand of psychedelic rock has a distinct flavour in a scene where Tame Impala still rules supreme.
Yet it is their riotous, carnival like energy that sets them apart as such compelling live performers. Opener ‘Xipe Totec,’ named after an Aztec deity, set the raucous tone with pounding drums, helter skelter riffs and warped, echoing vocals, as frontman Kamal Rasool cavorted around stage in his colourful attire.
From the sprightly ‘Jungle Birds’ to the electric ‘Gojira,’ the sonic energy continued to flow in jaunty gushes all night, often dispatched at a frenetic, dancey pace that’s fairly unusual for psychedelic music. With little regard for the Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus structure, they sailed freely from one melody to the next, be it vocal, synth or guitar, and at times it was difficult to ascertain where one song ended and the next began. Though despite their atypical approach, the crowd willingly stepped into this radiant, fantastical world with them.
The encore brought a ferocious finale, as enchanting support act Peluché entered the stage for some cosmic dancing, and Rasool launched himself into the mesh of dancing bodies, coaxing them to move up and down like some mad conjurer. If you need a box to put this artist into, Otherworldly Music should do just fine.