Aussie Rolling Stone mag 50 Greatest Australian Artists of All Time #47: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

by Josh Healey of West Thebarton:

Everyone has their own idea of the “perfect band”. That idea of perfection may be in a form of songwriting, artwork, or their live performances. For me, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard symbolises perfection. A huge chunk of that perfection is in their freedom to do anything they damn well please. Their diehard (and sometimes scary) fanbase get behind anything the band does. From surf-garage-rock to jazz-improv, to thrash metal, King Gizz nail every genre they infiltrate and blow the competition out of the park

It usually takes around ten years for a band to really get going and begin their career. In ten years, King Gizz has released 16 albums, which is unachievable for most. I caught their set at Falls Festival Lorne 2012, a midday slot, to a spacious crowd of punters during the December heat in the cauldron that the Falls Lorne site is. I believe their appearance was in support of 12 Bar Bruise, their first LP. It was a pretty cool show; surf, rock, pop, noise (whatever) ditties that stuck with you throughout the rest of the day. Little did I know that would be one of the only shows I would see with such a spacious crowd.

West Thebarton has played with Gizz a bunch. Our first show with them was at Jive, in Adelaide. A 300-ish capacity room with a mezzanine for higher viewing. From what I recall, the Jive show was in support of Float Along – Fill Your Lungs, which features the classic 16-minute “Head On/Pill” epic.

I remember being in awe throughout the entire show, glued to each member for the entirety of the set. They kicked off with “Head On/Pill” and finished the set with a reprise of the opener. The perfect ending to a show and a memory that’ll always stick with me. We played at the first Gizzfest outside of Victoria and shared many festivals with the band over the years. It’s always a pleasure to be on a lineup with them.

I remember being that much of a Gizz-head that I bought a Yamaha SGV300, a reissue model of Stu McKenzie’s notable ‘Samurai’ guitar. A fun but regrettable purchase. The reissue isn’t that good.

As a record collector, I luckily got into collecting Gizz records very early on. To be quite honest, I could probably sell all my Gizz records and have enough for a house deposit. Having said that, anyone want to sell me the Willoughby’s Beach 10”? Ray from West Thebarton has the original pressing – the only one I am missing. That bastard.

What I love most about King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard is that they never fail to surprise you. I could watch them every night for the rest of my life and their set will be different each time. Every new record guarantees that you will listen to nothing else for the next month, and love every second of it. Hit repeat – always. Especially on Nonagon Infinity… they are the perfect band.

It’s Stu Mackenzie of KG&TWL with little photo of West Thebarton.

Outro again is me explaining better my edited down version of to quote RS: “In December of 2020, Rolling Stone Australia released a special edition issue which looks at the 50 Greatest Australian Artists of All Time, paying tribute to the best and most impactful artists in Australian music history.” but because that means to them mainly top 40 stuff which I’m not really into, I’m passing on some of these and just re-posting the artists that are very important to me in a very biased selection!

Embedding all albums named dropped above from Bandcamp too, if you wanna listen? I don’t know really how much I rave on about KG&TWL, maybe a lot? What did you think of Josh the guitar player of West Thebarton had to say about them? I remember seeing KG&TWL live around the time of their debut album 12 Bar Bruise supporting The Drones’ I See Seaweed album tour. That was my intro to them and it was like who the hell was that support band? Next was on their Float Along – Fill Your Lungs album tour at the tiny Mojo’s Bar in Freo which was mind-blowing show too! That night I did meet one of the band members afterwards but I was so drunk by then I can’t tell you which one it was now but he just gave me that brand new album on CD for nothing, maybe he just wanted me to piss off? Anyway just above is West Thebarton last single/video clip called Tops of 2019.

So this time I’ve passed on Air Supply at #48. Sorry again to fans of that band and the band themselves but I haven’t go a clue about them but after looking them up, it seems they’re on the Ghostbusters soundtrack of 1984 so going with that one, here’s I Can Wait Forever to end this post with, if you’re into them?

Cheers! 🙂



  1. I just had a look at this list, and while there are some fine people in there I do find it hard to accept any such list that does not, in some form, even mention Ross Wilson. Mike Rudd should be in there somewhere as well and maybe even Dave Mason. I am terribly biased, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So that would be your very own top three greatest Aussie artists of all-time? I’m making up my very own list/post as a response that’s very biased too and way more indie and punk than RS list, i hope you might enjoy it a little that when i get it done!
      Cheers mate 🙂


      1. Well, no. I wouldn’t go that far. But Daddy Cool has to feature in the top 10, surely! Mike Rudd is from New Zealand, of course, which may exclude him.
        My own top 10?
        In no particular order
        Daddy Cool
        Spectrum/Ariel/Indelible Murtceps
        Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
        The Saints
        The Sports
        The Reels
        The Easybeats
        Jimmy and The Boys
        Radio Birdman
        The Mighty Kong

        You will note that they all are picked from a small slice of history and that Ross Wilson actually features twice. I accept the accusations of narrow bias.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry for the very late reply RR! That’s a wicked great top ten you’ve got there but you know that, right? You can pick whatever or whoever the hell you want to as far as I’m concerned, you know? Always great to hear want you have to say about Aussie music as well!
        Cheers mate 🙂


    1. Oh yeah, they’re so wicked great and i think, they should be higher tooo! it’s a bit of an odd list but i think, i am re-posting 15 of the 50 but i am also making my very own list right now toooo! Cheers mate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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