Concert Buzz

Them Crooked Vultures


Birmingham O2 Academy-UK

December 14, 2009

1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5

by Dave Evans

This was a gig I feel privileged to have seen. Rumour has it that the gig sold out within 15 minutes; tickets were indeed like gold dust. All in all, it looked like it was going to be a rather special evening!

First up was support band Sweethead, a female fronted band who started off a bit tentatively but soon got into their stride. A mix of Stooges era New York Punk and 80’s Nu-Wave Blondie, mostly due to the striking and vivacious vocalist strutting the stage like a yester-year Debbie Harry. There was also a definite nod towards early 90’s bands such as NY Loose and Garbage - a nice punk looseness and attitude augmented by good sharp and snappy tunes that mostly and predictably ended in a ringing wail of feedback.

Sweethead is definitely a band worth seeing, but on their own tour when they can be given more time on stage.

After what seemed like an eternity (but was probably only about 30mins), it was time for the main feast of the evening!

As soon as the crowd noticed Dave Grohl striding casually to his drumkit the 02 was filled with an almighty bombast of cheers. This was added to when it dawned on us that there was John Paul Jones! A living legend and in a modest venue such as this! Finally Josh Homme acknowledged the crowd with a real sense of glee (himself aware of the stellar rhythm section assembled around him).

What followed can only be described as over 90 minutes of some of the finest, tightest, heaviest and inventive music known to man. Dave Grohl attacked the kit like a bearded animal, never once missing a beat, playing with such passion I swear Bonzo would have looked down and given him a wry smile of approval. This was not lost on the evergreen John Paul Jones, who himself played with the energy of a man in his 20s. He, as they all did, was playing as if it was his first gig with people to impress and songs to share. A variety of instruments got the JPJ attention; a slide guitar, electric mandolin, 6 string bass and keyboards. A true rhythm king indeed!

Josh Homme was an immense presence, big in stature and personality, aware as mentioned earlier of his bands pedigree. He and the touring guitarist on stage played and sang each track from the debut album with passion and unnerving accuracy. ‘New Fang’, ‘Mind Eraser’, ‘No Chaser’, ‘Scumbag Blues’, ‘Caligulove’ (introduced as the Love Song) and ‘Reptiles’ which at times dared to segway into Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’, such was Grohl’s uncanny Bonzo-esque drumming.

Parallels with Chickenfoot can be drawn here in many areas. Them Crooked Vultures never once choose to bask in former glories, played with a telepathic understanding of each others’ abilities and most importantly with a respect for each other that only friends can have.
There is no doubt in summing up Them Crooked Vultures’ sound that they are the product of their pasts. Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters are all part of the tapestry, but there is a subtle tip of the hat towards bands like Cream (another 3 piece so-called super-group) and more edgy bands such as The Clash.

On Monday December 14th 2009 we were witness to something very special; three musicians at the top of their game with a setlist of tracks to die for.

This review is the subjective opinion of the individual reviewer and not of ConcertBuzz

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Rating: 2.6/5 (60 votes cast)

Them Crooked Vultures Concert Videos


Comments    1 comments on this document

On 01/30/2010 at 12:19:25 [PDT] PeterP wrote:
Very nice review!
You're a good writer, Dave.
I will try to catch Them Crooked Vultures now that you have put me on to them.
Thanks again.

Comments    1 comments on this document

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