Ozric Tentacles gigs now seem like a celebration. They are the meeting of the multi-coloured clothed tribes come together in one place and celebrate the wonderful psychedelic sounds of the Ozrics. The fact that the band are now 31 years along their long strange trip to Erpland also proves the continuing love and respect and support the band have with their far-out fans. The first time I saw them was in a lysergic haze on a sun-baked day at Stonehenge when their music was bright colourful and just plain out there; three decades later they are still striving for the farthest reaches of the galaxy.First up is Mantis Mash, who is Natan, sleeve designer for the new Ozrics album and now part of spin-off band Nodens Ictus. Behind his Apple Mac and with a table full of electronic devices he makes some good solid trance to get the party started. The Mantis Mash sound is part Pitch Shifter and part Goa trance (more in the TIP World vein); it squelches along but adds the extra dose of cosmic otherness that lifts up your spirit and soul. He remixes some Ozrics but many other things are also thrown into the melting pot of sounds that remind me of those heady nights on the beaches of Goa and took me far away from the venue. The crowd start dancing and it’s a great opening act for the main band as soon most of the audience are already smiling. and with a rush like coming up on lysergics we are off. For starters the band look amazingly happy to be onstage and this good energy vibe spills out over the audience. Ed Wynne is beaming with his guitar strapped around his neck as he plays killer cosmic lead lines. Every now and then he will chat to the crowd with banter like “That was that one and this one is this one”, which adds an almost mystical pronouncement and seems like psychedelic mantra for the proceedings.
Brandi Wynne is front and centre of the stage, chatting informally between songs like the entire audience is her friend and she knows us all personally. Her bass playing is fantastic — it gets deep and dub-like as well as showing off her progressive rock licks. Brandi laughs, smiles and dances while she plays and the audience soak up the good feelings emanating from the stage. Silas Wynne is kept busy behind the synths making cosmic noises as well as playing some wonderful melodic lead lines. Both Balázs Szende (drums) and Paul Hankin (percussion) add a constant barrage of amazing rhythms that not only make you want to dance but help transport you to other worlds.patchouli oil, hash-high music meditated upon on mount Kailash to help raise cosmic awareness on planet Earth.
The Ozrics live (and on record) play music to make you forget where you are and who you are and all other points in between. It adds colour and deep meaning to a dull day — it takes you beyond mundane reality of the everyday into another place, and it’s certainly somewhere I would like to visit more often to spend a couple of hours. Just got to wait for the next tour now…