Them Crooked Vultuures Brixton O2 Academy, London
Set List: Mind Eraser/Dead End Friends/Scumbag Blues/Elephants/Highway 1/Gunman/Nobody Loves Me/Bandoliers/Interlude With Ludes/Caliulove/You Can’t Possibly Begin To Imagine/Daffodils/Reptiles/Warsaw/Encore New Fang
Them Crooked Vultures took what may, or may not be their last UK bow last night at a triumphant finale at London’s Brixton 02 Academy. As Josh Homme noted, it brought the band full circle as it was here last August that the Vultures first announced themselves at a low key support slot to the Arctic Monkeys.
There was nothing low key about this Brixton return – a benefit show for TCV friend, Homme collaborator and bassist with Eagle Of Death Metal Brian O Connor. In front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd they proceeded to batter the senses with a full on rock assault that went down an absolute storm. It was good to see them shake up the set list order. Scumbag Blues was an early indication of their intent as JPJ and Dave Grohl effortlessly locked in to one of those extended jams we have come to know and love.
All the stock in trade TCV ingredients were present: Dave’s ever forceful percussion, Josh’s committed guitar and vocal prowess, Alain Johanne’s unflagging rhythm support and the man with the various bass guitars and keyboards John Paul Jones – not to mention violin on You Can’t Possibly Begin To Imagine. The spontaneous chants of ‘’John Paul Jones’’ ‘’John Paul Jones’’ from the crowd after Josh introduced him was another stirring moment.
The latter song title was also an appropriate phrase to describe the sheer fervency of the three young ladies directly in front of me against the stage barriers. I couldn’t begin to imagine the sheer passion these fans had for this band had I not witnessed it for myself. They knew every word of every song and punctuated every riff in that crazed dance style so favoured by the likes of Florence Welch (and her machine). On the 30th anniversary of Tom and I being in attendance at the penultimate Led Zeppelin show in Munich, it was a vivid illustration of how this music transcends the generations -and how potent a musician John Paul Jones still is three decades on.
After a searing encore of New Fang, the members of the band soaked up the adulation with a final bow. As the audience dispersed, the plaintive tones of Roy Orbison’s It’s Over drifted out from the PA.
Indeed it may or may not be over…it remains to be seen if they can re-group again in the future after the final dates in Japan. One things for sure though, the journey we have enjoyed with Them Crooked Vultures these past twelve months will certainly not be forgotten.
Dave Lewis, July 6th 2010
From Munich To Brixton 30 Years Gone - “It’s been a lifetime…but a second” : Tom Locke and Dave Lewis Brixton 02 Academy July 5th 2010
All pics by Gary Foy -set list via Mick Bulow