Channelling the music of The Doors

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 10:21 12/10/2012

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Don't call the Lizard Kings a Doors' tribute band.

Lead singer Marcus Roebuck said the covers, the psychedelic lighting and even the voice behind this weekend's multimedia show The Doors Experience might imitate Jim Morrison, but the Lizard Kings aren't trying to be the 1960s-70s band incarnate.

"We never wanted to be a tribute band," he said. Their music - set against documentary footage - is for the wide demographic who have always responded to the charisma of the original Lizard King.

The title was a nickname lead singer Jim Morrison used for himself - taken from a poem he wrote - which The Doors performed until Morrison's death in Paris in 1971.

Roebuck said he had an "instant connection" to The Doors after hearing Riders on the Storm at age 16.

Since then, he has had ample opportunity to belt out favourites like Light my fire and Love her madly as the frontman for a blues band doing weekend gigs in the Nelson area.

The Lizard Kings was a natural extension of the blues genre for the "two music tutors, two carpenters and a colour copier technician", he said.

"I always lived outside my time . . . we never set out to be specifically a Doors band. We just played Riders on the Storm one night and the crowd really got into it. I thought ‘we could do something with this'."

Since they started taking the show on tour as the Lizard Kings, they've put the whole night together with a multimedia picture and light show that "connects the past to the present with futuristic elements", he said.

The Doors broke up in 1973, two years after Morrison's death at age 27, but Roebuck said nearly 40 years later their music still resonated with all ages.

"We get greyheads to dreadheads. Crowds really embrace us once we start playing." The Doors Experience will be at Players Entertainment Centre on Sunday at 8pm.

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- The Southland Times

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