Ozric Tentacles & MantisMash
Trix (Antwerp) - 26 oct 2014
For over 30 years Orzic Tentacles have been the predominant band in the space rock genre. They have recorded over 30 albums and tons of compilations, remixes, singles, reissues and so on. You can easily say that the Ozrics are one of the hardest working bands in the universe. The fully loaded merchandise booth proved that. For new fans or old fans who lost their Ozric Tentacles stuff, there were loads of cd’s, vinyl, shirts and posters, including the beautiful Vitamins Enhanced box-set. I’ve been wanting this thing for quite a while now so I didn’t hesitate and started spending my hard-earned money. After having put everything in a locker I had time for one little smoke before Mantismash would kick-off.
Mantismash is the perfect support act for a band like Ozric Tentacles. This one man dub vehicle is capable of warming up the crowd with his psychedelic potpourri of psy-trance, dub, dubstep, drum & bass and a hint of IDM. As soon as the first beats resounded, the audience started a huge party that lasted for about 45 minutes. While most of the people were enjoying themselves on their own two floor tiles, some others proved that they should be banned from dancing altogether by moving in a piteous way, making a complete ass of themselves. It must have been their drugs... Anyway, Mantismash came pretty close to utter awesomeness and pleasure. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the merchandise booth so we’ll have to check out his soundcloud page to be able to listen to this stuff at home.
After a short break it was time for the psych-deities themselves. The first question that came to mind was “do they still have ‘it’?” and the answer is short and simple, “they absolutely do”. Now, don’t ask me the titles of the tracks they played. For me Ozric has always been a band whose songs I played in a huge shuffled playlist without ever thinking about the titles. So was this concert. By selecting songs from nearly every Ozric era they gave us a well-balanced set between psychedelic hard rock and more dub-oriented jams. Brandi (bass) was as cheerful as she ever was, despite some technical issues that seemed to appear. I don’t think anyone but the band noticed these problems and even they didn’t really seem to care. This was a party from start to finish. Even the technically talented and very focused drummer Balasz smiled and often closed his eyes to enjoy this trip. Silas (keyboards) seemed to be ignored by the rest of the band but maybe that's because he's an extremely reliable musician and very focussed on giving us an enjoyable evening. And Ed? He was Ed, an excellent guitar player and composer who has earned my respect forever.
To me, Ozric Tentacles represent a period of time when music and partying were still unrestricted. Nowadays, with all the regulations (no smoking inside, volume-limiters, plastic cups,...) a lot of fun has been taken out of the good old entertainment. Although I noticed that much of the crowd wasn’t as exuberant as they used to be, this evening was a huge success. For a moment in time I was an adolescent again, dancing, shaking my head and applauding loudly. And I think I was not alone in this. Everywhere around me I witnessed people who actually shouldn’t really belong there (maybe a little too old, too well dressed,...) but had the time of their lives. I miss this kind of freedom so I want to send a huge ‘thank you’ to Ozric Tentacles and Mantismash for making it feel like home again...