Them Crooked Vultures Join Arctic Monkeys for Surprise London Show

August 27th, 2009 by Richard L. Dewey and Tim Marrinan Leave a reply »

Photograph by Aurelien Guichard

One of the hottest bands in the world made their London debut last night as the openers for Arctic Monkeys at the Brixton Academy. Billed cryptically as “very special guests,” the secret was clearly out as a line wrapped around the block with fans eager to catch a set by new supergroup Them Crooked Vultures. At 7:50 GMT John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme casually assumed the stage as any opening band might, before rocking the theater with just under an hour of ear splitting, foot stomping, unadulterated rock.

Offering nothing more than a simple “hello” from frontman Homme, the band immediately launched into “Elephants,” beginning with a Led Zep-inspired bluesy guitar riff and thumping bassline before doubling to a speed that resembled Homme and Grohl’s respective outfits. The trio, who were joined by Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Alain Johannes, then broke out “Dead End Friends” and the droning hard rock “Gunman” both of which call to mind QOTSA material but with the amps turned up to 11 and Dave Grohl beating the drums within an inch of their life.

Homme kept crowd interaction with the 5,000 lucky fans packed inside the quaint venue to a minimum — they were the support act after all — saving his voice for melodic vocals on tunes like “Mind Eraser (No Chaser).” Many of the Vulture’s tunes took a number of meandering turns as they progressed, shifting styles and time signatures. The fifth song, “Caligulove” was a throwback psychedelic number with John Paul Jones blaring Hammond organ sound from his keyboard.

The Vultures played with an deafening intensity that brought the Monkeys out to watch from a back corner of the stage. Their strongest tune was “Daffodils,” which features a driving ri...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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