Concert Dates :: John Paul Jones
||January 19, 2010
||Mount Claremont, Perth, Australia
|1. No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
2. Dead End Friends
3. Scumbag Blues
5. Highway 1
6. New Fang
9. Mind Eraser, No Chaser
11. Interlude With Ludes
12. Spinning In Daffodils
14. Warsaw or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up
|Support from The Novacaines.
Poster by Rhys Cooper
|Them Crooked Vultures review
January 20, 2010
This week it was Perth's job to welcome super-group of the noughties Them Crooked Vultures to Australia.
The frantic crowd was cheering as soon as Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones and Joshua Homme stepped foot on stage.
When front man Homme took the microphone and shouted 'are you ready to have a good time?' the crowd already were.
Opening the night at Challenge Stadium were local boys The Novocaines, who admitted to the crowd "we haven't played at anything this big before so it?s pretty exciting."
The young band played songs from their latest album and went wild onstage, the lead singer even got the stiff crowd moving at the end by thrashing around the stage - an amazing feat given how tight his jeans were.
But the crowd were definitely saving themselves for the big guns and couldn't control their excitement when the time came.
It was so much more than just three mates coming together from separate bands. The fact that they all already have their 'day jobs' probably led to the ease and comfort at which they were playing.
Following on from a young punk band really made the juxtaposition obvious. Here were three older guys with a tonne of experience under their belt, with no egos because each member of this newly formed band had more previous experience than the next.
Each band member seemed like they were genuinely having a good time and felt comfortable to let loose.
John Paul Jones of Led Zepplin strutted around the stage with his bass like the legend that he is. The majority of the crowd would not have had the pleasure of seeing Zepplin live, and this was definately the next best thing. Jones moves like a true rock god and drew the biggest cheers from the crowd.
Dave Grohl became a household name as front man of the Foo Fighters, but true fans still love him as the drummer for 90s grunge legends Nirvana. It was sublime to see him back in this roll as drummer head-banging through the whole set. However one of the main disappointments of the night was that he remained completely mute throughout the show, offering no banter or comments for the audience to play off.
Joshua Homme, Queens of the Stoneage frontman, really lends his sound to the band. Chief lyricist when writing the album, Homme's influence is clear and the majority of the songs have a real QOTSA feel to them. Homme oozed charisma from the front of stage. He is a big guy and if he was your neighbour you'd imagine him to be awkward on the stage. But Homme moved and strutted with real style.
Opening the night with lead album track No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, the band had the audience in a spin. Then Scumbag Blues, the third track took the sound level down a notch and really showcasing Homme's voice with backing vocals from Jones and Grohl. Radio hits New Fang and Mind Eraser, No Chaser were also favourites and inspired the crowd surfers.
It was clear that majority were there to purely view the three rock legends on the stage, rather than for the new songs that they had produced. Unsurprisingly there were more Nirvana t-shirts spotted in the crowd than Them Crooked Vultures merchandise.
Overall the set was tight. Guitars were swapped after nearly every track - there is no shortage of cash here and the guys took advantage of the legion of instruments at their disposal. John Paul Jones was impressive, especially his keyboard solo toward the end of the night. The last ten minutes of the show was pure instrumental with Homme taking over the stage, perhaps for a little too long but this didn't disappoint die hard fans.
There was a splattering of empty seats through the stadium as the event didn't sell out. But every person in the crowd desperately wanted to be there, perhaps to witness a part of rock history that may never be repeated.
If TCV were disappointed by the unmoving crowd, they shouldn't be. This gig fell under the twin curse of weather and weeknights. The third 40+ day in a row can make for an undemonstrative audience, afraid to move and get any hotter lest they never get cool again.
On the other hand, have you ever tried to shut up 5000-odd bogans and get them to pay attention to something (other than themselves) for more than a minute? How about 90 minutes? This is just one more example of TCV's aforementioned magic. Every head was oriented stageward, mouths slightly agape as they soaked up the experience. (Is 'basking in their radiance' too much? Perhaps not.) Later in the show, Homme was able, after much coaxing, to get the crowd in the seats on its feet for the last couple of songs, but for the most part they remained sitting, but certainly not still. The seats rocked in time with the music from start to finish.
One of the bigger reactions was for the first single off the album; New Fang. Grohl got it underway to minimal reaction, but when that unmistakable guitar riff exploded, so did the crowd, showing TCV just how much this track is appreciated. Complete with plenty of crowd backing vocals this was truly the highlight of the night?that is until the simply brilliant stop-start parade of Mind Eraser (No Chaser) stole its mantle.
From time to time, some missile was spotted landing at one of the performers' feet, sparking curiosity as to what people were throwing at the stage, because they looked too big to be the kind of knickers you'd throw. At the end of the set, after a super-extended rock jam ending to Warsaw or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up (instead of a presumptuous encore,) it became clear what the projectiles were by the several bras tucket into Homme and Jones' back pockets as they walked off stage.
In general, you don't ask much of stoner rock, from Them Crooked Vultures, you couldn't ask for anything more, except perhaps another concert.
Them Crooked Vultures ready to swoop on Perth
STEPH KRETOWICZ, The West Australian, January 18, 2010
To some it might seem that Dave Grohl exists in a different universe from ours; one where he can hang out in the studio with Paul McCartney one day and perform with Neil Diamond the next.
Or be drummer to one of the biggest bands of the 20th century, Nirvana, and work with David Bowie, Kaki King and Cat Power. And he manages to do all this without sacrificing his rock'n'roll credibility.
Grohl's latest project is Them Crooked Vultures, a trio instantly dubbed a supergroup which garnered automatic universal attention late last year, just because he is joined by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin fame and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme.
"It's funny because Josh and I have known each other for a really long time, since 1991 or 1992," Grohl says of his Them Crooked Vultures bandmate, whom he'd met way back when Homme was still a youngster in stoner rock band Kyuss.
"We're friends and we're musically compatible in a way that I'm not with anyone else. I don't know why and I don't know when it happened, or how it happened, but the first time I sat down at the drums, with Josh in front of me playing the guitar, special things happened and they rarely do."
Grohl says that he and Homme have been planning a band together for some time, with rumours circulating as far back as 2005. But while a collaboration between the two might seem natural, it's the involvement of 70s star Jones that could be harder to explain - the importance of which is far from lost on Grohl.
"He's really a super-sweet guy and a musical giant. He's a legend, I can't think of anything he can't do. Of anyone I've ever jammed with in my entire life, that guy is deeper and heavier than anyone."
Behind the image and reputation of Dave Grohl stands a regular guy with his own family and responsibilities. When he takes the call for this interview, Grohl is holidaying in Hawaii with his family, who are all asleep.
"Look at someone like Neil Young. He has been a huge inspiration to me musically my entire life," he says. "Not so long ago, I got to meet him and hang out with him and hang out with his family, be in his house, his home and be like, 'Wow, OK. I'm in the home of this legendary musician and he's just a guy.' He's just a man and with a beautiful family."
That said, and knowing how many great figures Grohl has worked with and met, he's still prone to being star-struck but perhaps not for the reasons you'd expect.
"What matters the most is what you play. It doesn't really matter about prestige or any of that. Someone like Kaki King, if you're familiar with what she does then you realise that she's a badass, you know. So for me, musically, that ability is intimidating in a way. It doesn't really matter what your name is or how many records you've sold.
"When I meet someone, it could be Paul McCartney, it could be Kaki King, it could be John Paul Jones, it could be Little Richard; their music has touched me so much that when I first meet them I get nervous because of what they've done," Grohl gushes.
As a high school drop-out who left school to tour with his first band Scream, and in recognising the farcical nature of an image-pushing music business, Grohl is one person who hasn't lost sight of his priorities.
"As a musician, I'm there to play music and that's my whole life. I never aspired to be a member of Kiss and I never worried about image or of being like a rock star," he says.
"I'm really lucky to be in a band with people who are only interested in playing music, and at the end of the day that's the most important thing, not how you look."
Them Crooked Vultures play Challenge Stadium on Tuesday. Tickets from Ticketmaster.
4 May 2013
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