Dancing fish, unicorn riding and zorbing on top of the crowd - it’s just a normal night with The Flaming Lips in Norwich
- Credit: David Powles
The Flaming Lips - UEA Nick Rayns LCR It's hosted hundreds of gigs over the years but I doubt the UEA has seen anything like this before.
Psychedelic American rockers The Flaming Lips are in town and that can only mean one thing - it's party time. Except you've never been to a party like this.
On stage what appear to be a six-foot fish, a reptile like creature and an inflatable star gyrate alongside lead singer Wayne Coyne as he belts out one of the band's biggest hits Race for The Prize.
In front of them, the crowd have been covered with confetti, dozens of big, colourful bouncing balls and a very large balloon sculpture spelling out a message which isn't repeatable here, but reads something along the lines of 'oh yeah Norwich'.
The stage flashes and sparkles with all sorts of bright colours as somewhere behind what can best be described as a fluorescent light curtain, the rest of the band gets on with the serious stuff.
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Next Coyne disappears from stage, returning to cheers and adulation as he reappears at the back of the crowd - riding a unicorn.
All this and we've not even finished the second song yet.
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Having been fortunate enough to see The Flaming Lips before I knew the 1,000-plus Norwich crowd were in for a rare Monday night treat - but I never expected anything quite like this.
Hot on the heels of a widely-acclaimed slot at Glastonbury Festival, I'd assumed the show here would be more stripped down than normal. The Flaming Lips-lite.
But The Lips don't do stripped down and instead they've decided to throw everything they've got at Monday night's thrilling two-hour show.
Of course all this would simply be window dressing and gimmickry if the band didn't have the songs to back it up. Fortunately they do.
Once over the initial assault on their senses, the crowd are enthralled as Coyne and co take us on a journey through the band's impressive back catalogue, throwing in a few newbies from their latest album Oczy Mlody on the way. That album is very much a return to what they do best.
We sing-a-long to Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, shout along to The Yeah Yeah Song and sway along to the emotionally-wrought set closer Do You Realize?
In between each song Coyne preaches about peace, love and happiness. He really is as cheesy as they get - but it never seems false or put on and we love him for it. Set highlight is a wonderful cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity, during which Coyne floats on top of the crowd inside a zorb ball.
But then by this stage we expected nothing less...