A Devin Townsend show is not just a gig, it's an event.
Hevy Devy brings the tunes, the charm and a dollop of the bizarre to every venue he scours. Whether it be the confines of Nottingham Rock City or the grandiose Apollo stage at Sonisphere Festival, our bald-headed hero takes his eclectic mix of prog, pop and puppets and he knocks it out of the park. Every. Single. Time.
So when he announced that he’s playing the Royal Albert Hall… Well, a cold shower was in order. In a similar way to Metallica triumphing over Glastonbury last month, Devy’s descent upon the Royal Albert is guaranteed to be an ‘I was there’ moment. Alright, it’s nowhere near the same scale as Glastonbury, but the principle is the same – this is not supposed to happen. Townsend’s discography is one of the most diverse, wonderfully wacky collections of music this side of Frank Zappa – there’s everything from Enya-influenced world music to the unclassifiable racket of his former band, Strapping Young Lad. Aside from Opeth, no act of his ilk have dared set foot in such a venue. But Devin is, and he’s bringing everything plus Ziltoid’s kitchen sink.
Those of you lucky enough to have seen his Retinal Circus at the Camden Roundhouse will know what he can do, but just to reiterate: there will be fire, there will be puppets, and there might be enough special guests to participate in a special edition of The Weakest Link (come on, just imagine Devin dressed as Anne Robinson…).
Whereas The Retinal Circus possessed a flimsy, nonsensical plot, Ziltoid: The Musical promises a full-on narrative through our favourite extra-terrestrial protagonist, Ziltoid. Following the ill-fated – yet still brilliant – Ziltoid Radio last year, the promise of Ziltoid TV and the imminent release of Z2 in October, yet another chapter will be added to the coffee-consuming, booby-loving alien’s legacy.
Aside from the fact there will be an actual story this time round, just imagine Ziltoid at the Royal Albert Hall. A venue usually associated with the likes of the BBC Proms, its pristine archways ought to prepare themselves for a barrage of spaceships, expletives and dick jokes, for Ziltoid takes no prisoners. Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt was the first person to say the ‘C’ word on that stage, so let’s see how many taboos Devin can desecrate come April.
Basically, if you are a fan of Devin’s work, then you need to see this show – Hell, if you’re just a fan of music then you need to see this show. The bloke’s been grafting away for over two decades now, and with the funds from his ridiculously successful PledgeMusic campaign, his true creative vision can finally be actualised on stage. This has ‘Best Gig In The Omniverse’ written all over it and if you miss it, Ziltoid will find you. And he will fart on you.