Flaming Lips - Parklife 2012 review
'Elder statesmen of alternative rock with a nice line in confetti canons'
Michelle Corbett - 10 June 2012
It explodes on command; his ‘Freddie Mercury’ stick – festooning the audience with a jet of colourful
tickertape that peaks and curls amidst the white smoke. Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne struts –
flanked by a dancing troupe, pebble-blue miniskirts skimming their shapely derrieres.
There will be zorbing and more of the magical stick. But most of all there is music. Alternative drone bee music that is a call to war and peace all at once. The type of music that spreads the breadth of rain-dashed Platt Fields; soaking into the plateau of gloopy mud and caressing the tips of the trees.
Coyne is in his element – flicking through the 30-year ‘Argos’ catalogue of his hits and cherry-picking the summer specials.
For his ‘psychedelic brethren’ Johnny Marr – fresh from a show-stealing performance with Chic and Nile Rogers - there is ‘See the Leaves’.
‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ from their same-titled tenth album gets an airing too, as does show finale ‘Do you Realize’ – presented as a second encore.
It’s all a bit Arcade Fire – both in sound and presentation – only before Arcade Fire emerged twitching from the petri dish of The Flaming Lips laboratory.
Coyne is a talisman, wearing a white flag of a shirt with showman furs round his neck that blend into his salt and pepper mop.
The band are diligent, content; sharply accurate yet joyful with it. When it’s over, a terrible emptiness consumes you – the bewitching commandant beat suddenly ceasing to be. And yet you are absurdly happy – a pink-faced goon smiling amidst a flurry of string paper ribbon and soft white smoke. Day one is done and you are better for it.
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