Evil Scarecrow, 10 Foot Wizard – The Marble Factory, Bristol
The old converted factory setting started growing metalheads on its outside walls just gone half 6. These people must have been aware of the Northern lunacy they were about to experience, as they waited about an hour to be let inside. However, the evening was very warm indeed and everybody enjoyed some fresh air before heading to the sweaty, filled up venue. As the gates slowly opened, the masses went straight towards the bar, preparing for the first band.
As the clocks hit 20:00, cat enthusiast and vocalist Gary Harkin from Ten Foot Wizard flashed his torch and the main lights dimmed. Our ears were teemed with eccentric dance grooves, and drummer Jonny Banyard got the crowd going with his fist pumps and excitable character during this intro track. A substantial amount of people in the crowd got involved with the madness and everyone was visibly already having a great time. They successfully warmed up the crowd, ready for what they were about to deliver. This entertaining set was full of air kicks, guitar spins, and my personal favourite; screaming down a flamingo’s throat. Ten Foot Wizard also certainly enjoy giving the impression they are on holiday, with their almost uniform-like Hawaiian shorts and the lack of crusty 8-day old tour shirts.
Keeping the audience entertained with their thoroughly nutty set and 80’s sounding blues stoner rock, the babies of ZZ Top and Pink Floyd were given a 45 minute long opening slot, which was definitely a good choice. There was even a short moment where Gary pulled out a Theremin and made some random noises with it. Every member of the group has their own radiant personality, especially the drummer. With a strong resemblance to Animal from the muppet show, Jonny is charged with energy and adds to the dynamic atmosphere in the room, created by the rest of the individuals and crowd combined. Towards the end of their set, the band almost definitely had people feeling like they were tripping on a massive field under the stars, and when the last song finished they got a flaming hot cheer from every single person in the crowd.
The changeover break was rather long, but funky music was playing in the background while the set for the Evil Scarecrow was being put together. Due to a lack of backstage area in the venue, the band had to wait for their turn. As the clocks hit 21:15, Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist came on stage, and straight away got an exceptional reaction from the audience. The 5 piece from Nottingham begun with Way to Die followed by Skulls of Our Enemies, which was very cleverly accompanied by two huge knight skeletons, holding a drum each. The next song, End Level Boss, had its own elf girl who tried fighting everybody on stage and had a massive box of treasure. She acted out all the moves from the song, while engaging with their fans and prompting them to do the same. Her spotlight was followed by a couple of cute robots who punched through the wall on the set, and pulled shapes to the Robototron song, which was dedicated to them. The band as well as the audience were doing the robot dance, almost as if everyone was hypnotised, as there wasn’t a single person in the room who didn’t join in. Dr. Rabid Hell’s incredible ability to spill out the lyrics to this song had me intrigued, sounding like it has been fast forwarded by about x135m, and he does it so effortlessly too.
Shortly after Blacken the Everything, Dr. Hell took a moment to show his appreciation to Chucky the Bastard, their stand in the keyboardist, by showing his middle salute and inviting his followers to do the same. Lots of love in the room as Chucky the Bastard fought back displeasingly. One of the highlights of the show (there’s a lot!), must be brother Pain’s immaturity. He’s constantly on the move and should probably have an adult supervising him at all times. His mannerisms and silliness go hand in hand with the band’s purpose, anything he does seems to make everybody laugh and it creates a very relaxed and fun atmosphere. Another thing that really stood out was Dr. Hell’s ‘wind stick’ that he pulled out towards the end. The wind stick has magical powers, and Dr. Hell puts it to the best use possible, getting the audience to make farting noises when the stick points at them. The end result of this was a fantastic wave of farts going back and forth.
The “Lost in Antartarctica” tour supports their brand new full album release “Chapter IV: Lost in Antartarctica” and the audience got a very in-depth taste of the album, which included many ridiculous brand-new props such as the massive slug which was used for the first time ever on this tour. Some older songs were played too, such as the well-recognised Crabulon, during which the whole crowd moved from left to right doing the crab dance. This tour is going to be carried on into early 2019 and I could not recommend these guys enough if you ever get the chance to go. They give an experience you’ll never receive from any other band, with surprises around literally every corner, they are bound to keep you entertained for a long time even after the show.
Words and images: Kat Skarpetowska