Queens of The Stone Age
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- 100 Club, London »
- Queens of The Stone Age »
They might as well have shit in our drinks.
Leaving London’s 100 Club, DiS is split like a pistachio, our insides a’peeking from ‘tween sides of a shell sliced: yeah, we liked what we saw and heard and got sweaty to, but at the same time there’s a stinking and sour aftertaste lingering like the dinner from last week that’s sat in your kitchen bin in direct sunlight since you scraped it there with the best intention of taking it outside the morning after. And the longer we dwell upon it the worse it becomes – something is rotten in the camp of Queens Of The Stone Age, tonight at least.
Not that we’d ever tell them, mind you – as lead-cum-core Queen Joshua Homme (that’s pronounced “mommy”, since you didn’t ask) strides past an already-two-pints-in DiS, we’re left jaw agape by the man’s stature. Tall doesn’t come close, and neither does beefy, or butch, or fuckin’ell – this man could, absolutely conceivably, eat your parents’ house with them and the pets inside, as well as the detached garage and next door’s shed. In a mouthful. And then shit the bricks like bullets and fart as loudly as a nuclear test explosion somewhere in Godzilla country. When he grabs a guitar its neck bends in fear of what’s coming; most of his band mates keep their distance, no mean feat given the cramped stage.
So we’re afraid, is what we’re saying in a nutshell (oh boom boom already); afraid of revealing to anyone of particular importance that tonight’s not-really-secret show isn’t the show it could have been, that it should have been. At around £20 a ticket, once booking’s been added, and with the bar charging a flabbergasting £3.50 for a pint (plastic) of lager, money is being leaked by all in attendance at an alarming rate. They demand a special show – a greatest hits set peppered with a couple of will-be-hits from the forthcoming Era Vulgaris is, allegedly, on the cards pre-performance; whispers encircle the bar, fantasy setlists are exchanged.
But we get short-changed: during a set that lasts for about an hour, QOTSA pull out only a tiny quota of the smashes they’ve written in the past, and that’s being generous. It’s not like ‘Little Sister’ nor ‘Burn The Witch’ can hold their own against ‘Go With The Flow’ or – oh please oh please come back for an encore and play it – ‘The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret’. They’re makeweights in a catalogue of absolute killers, flotsam from the wreckage churned up in a tumultuous sea battle where QOTSA Old meets QOTSA New in a cannonball run-for-your-lives. Sure, new singles ‘3’s And 7’s’ and ‘Sick Sick Sick’ are fine, sleazily debauched slices of powerful pop-rock – the latter especially – but they’re not what we want, damnit. Era Vulgaris is grand – we’ve played little else at the DiS office of late – but do we really need seven new songs in a set that only runs to eleven offerings all told? With no encore? No, no we don’t.
Homme has since told NME.com, “I only wish we could have played for longer. We had to do this promo tour so we just begged them: 'can we put some shows in?’” Josh, you trudged off stage at ten past ten. You went on after nine. Ten past ten, Josh – you could have played an albums’ worth of songs on top of what you’d already executed under lights that flashed like landing strips having seizures. Josh, you’ve let us down.
_ But, QOTSA are still brilliant at what they do, and while appetites for a landslide of bona-fide crowd-pleasers go unsatisfied en masse, there’s still the ultimate impression that the set was A Good One. There were no stinkers, no lows, no pitfalls that the band stumbled lazily into, auto-piloting their way through their most recently learned material. It all sounded _good, despite a few boos come its climax. Yet, we’re still left with a pungent frustration, our bellies rumbling as we wander off to find another watering hole at ten past ten.
Ten past ten, Josh. While we're glad you didn't shit in our drinks, you could have invited us to stay for a few more.
Photograph from the Flickr.com page of kesslerkk, aka Keri Kennedy; please look at her nice pictures and tell her we sent you. _
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