REVIEW // Flamingods bring their delirious psych rock and disco to Exchange

Blending psychedelic rock, disco and Middle Eastern music, Flamingods brought the energy of their albums to the stage

Flamingods’ live show has always carried a certain level of infamy. When the band formed back in 2010, it was through an impromptu eight-hour live show in a chalet at ATP festival in Minehead. While the band’s albums are fantastic – their newest one, Levitation is a delirious blend of psychedelia and disco – the stage has always seemed like the place the band are most at home.

an eclectic DJ set that had me Shazam-ing every few minutes

Following an eclectic DJ set that had me Shazam-ing every few minutes, the band quickly hopped up on the stage and kicked things off. The most interesting part of the band’s stage set up was the table of gadgets and instruments sat in front of lead singer Kamal Rasool. It was impossible to see what he was messing around with for most of the set, but there were plenty of fantastically odd sounds coming from his direction throughout.

One of the defining aspects of Flamingods’ sound has been their blending of psychedelic rock and Middle Eastern music. As mentioned, their new album Levitation adds a dose of disco and danceability to this already eclectic mix. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Many of the songs played were true dancefloor fillers, featuring plenty of groovy funk basslines.

Flamingods also had a second drummer on stage, which gave the show an extra percussive kick. New songs such as Paradise Drive and Marigold had the whole audience moving.

The band’s psych rock roots shone through even in these danceable moments

The band’s psych rock roots shone through even in these danceable moments. Rasool’s vocals have a woozy, laid-back quality to them, occasionally punctuated with a yelp here and there. This dreaminess matches well with the focus of his lyrics. Rarely is he singing about a girl – instead many of Flamingods’ songs focus on far-off Eastern destinations. Often, he’s singing about temples, jungles, tropical birds and the sun. 

Flamingods’ songs focus on far-off Eastern destinations (…) temples, jungles, tropical birds and the sun

The band dedicated the song Nizwa to their Arabic roots, with four of Flamingods’ members having grown up on the island of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. Starting off slow – led by Rasool’s chanting vocals – the band quickly worked themselves up into a frenzy. It was incredible to see Flamingods fuse so many genres together with such ease.

As the band’s set got closer to its end, the band continued to amp things up and the latter half of the show consisted of one reverb-drenched jam after another. The final song of the set was particularly fantastic. The band teased the song’s end again and again – stopping to let the audience applaud before barrelling on for another couple of minutes – before finally wrapping things up.

one reverb-drenched jam after another

Flamingods did a fantastic job of capturing the energy of their albums and elevating it to the next level. They more than lived up to their reputation.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    June 19, 2019

    Big up Dar Disku for the opening DJ set!

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