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Music review

Flaming Lips

Flaming Lips

Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Lorraine Wilson

Fresh from kissing the feet of Miley Cyrus and breaking the hipster hearts of a million Lips' fans, Wayne Coyne is happy to wander on stage when the houselights are still up to put his tinsel jacket in position. You know, the one that matches the tinsel sporran attached to his, er, bright red body stocking.

The fact that all the Lips are wandering around, tuning up and placing their drinks is strange - a show as freaky-deaky as this merits the band members being flown in over the heads of the crowd on unicorns at least.

With a history of extravagant staging, the Oklahoma City collective has raised the bar pretty high, but this impressive collection of giant inflatable dancers, the cheesiest lighting outside of Blackpool Illuminations and an ever-changing kaleidoscopic backdrop is more mind-blowing than ever.

Oh, the music you ask? Far from being secondary, every song is treated like a finale. Even during the opener, The Abandoned Hospital Ship, the crowd is showered with silver tinsel. With only two tracks from last year's The Terror, the set is a pretty balanced best-of-the-back-catalogue with She Don't Use Jelly, Race For The Prize and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt 1 all featuring mass singalongs.

Stephen Drodz holds everything together quietly in the corner as Coyne changes into a shiny suit and performs atop a raised box. Never the greatest vocalist live, the cracked quality to his voice means lyrics can be drowned in the cacophony, but what a cacophony it is.

When it comes down to it, the Flaming Lips' live experience isn't really a gig - it's a trip, man.

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