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Them Crooked Vultures, Hammersmith Apollo

18 December 2009 3,724 views No Comment

December 18th 2009

Set List

No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
Dead End Friends
Scumbag Blues
Highway One
New Fang
Mind Eraser, No Chaser
Interlude with Ludes
Spinning in Daffodils
Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up


Pic by Gary Foy

Went to see the Vultures at the Hammersmith Apollo on the Friday (18th). Outstanding gig.
It was great to see a band who made it up as they went along, as quite a lot of their songs had extended improvised sections. The rhythm section was outstanding – as you’d expect! And the eye-contact between Dave Grohl and JPJ in the improvised sections was wonderful to watch; you could just appreciate the fun they were having.
Highlight of the night for me was “Gunman”, and the final song “Warsaw” was an epic, about 35 minutes long (or so I was told by a fellow gig-er who actually timed it!)
If you’ve not seen them yet, make sure you catch them somewhere!

Ian Turkington


Pic by Andreas Stocker

The older you get, the more you worry about gigs, especially one that, by all reports that came before warned of the loudness of the band and the near frenzied moshing down the front, but I didn’t have to worry. Firstly my tickets were up on the second row of the balcony, amongst the more sedate members of the audience and secondly is didn’t appear to be that loud either. The acoustics at Hammersmith always seem to bounce around a bit up stairs and reports of the previous night confirmed this, indeed as the Vultures kicked off with the customary No One Loves Me, Dave Grohls drums echoed around my ears but as there hit their stride with Dead End Friends the sound settled down.

No surprises in the set list tonight, not that I expected any, the real surprise was how good Josh Hommes is as a front man and guitarist he really is. Witty and charming (and a keen smoker, 10 points alone in my book for that) and a great guitarist, nothing flash about his manner, he just does the job excellently, his control and textured playing added so much to the live renditions of the Vultures debut album. Dave Grohls playing was an excise in rock drumming at its finest, the parallels with John Bonham maybe stretch a bit too far for these ears but I can see why people are saying such things. As for John Paul Jones, well hands up who can name any bad performance he has ever played, yeah as I thought, none! John was, as we expected, the consummate professional, swapping from a wide variety of bass guitar to the keyboards, never underplaying, never overplaying, John was John, the John we love, the John from Led Zeppelin, from Zooma, from Thunderthief and anything in-between. And he’s enjoying his role in the band, better for having the main spotlight off him as he did in his solo outing but at the same time enjoying his role as elder statesman and the applause he receives is genuine and not just for the old days but for his integrity. Indeed the whole band seem to be having fun, enjoying life away from their day jobs, how long it can keep going is anyone’s guess but on tonight’s performance, Them Crooked Vultures will be back in the New Year.

High lights tonight for me were the epic Warsaw; the mammoth riff laden Daffodils, the infections Gunman, funky Mind Eraser and Bandoliers. Caligulove and Interludes failed for me but overall an excellent night, better than I could have imagined but then, John Paul Jones wasn’t ever gonna let us down was he.

Gary Foy

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