- 25 Nov 17
“A Monumental Racket”: Pat Carty is granted an audience with rock royalty
No surprises that the hall is absolutely heaving given the social media roaring and shouting that’s being going on all week. “Only three days to go!” “QOTSA Day is nearly here!”, and the like. The standing crowd are so tightly packed that when it all kicks off later on, and serious moshing breaks out, the bouncers can’t get next or near the centre of the maelstrom. The reason for all this freakery, fawning and flummery is the fabulous noise made by Queens Of The Stone Age. Over a marvellous series of albums, from the chug of the 1998 debut that Josh Homme began soon after the demise of Kyuss, to the Mark Ronson assisted glam stomp of this year’s Villains, they have emerged as the premiere hard rock band. Some might say that title belongs with their associates Foo Fighters, but the Queens just make better records.
It is a monumental racket. After the opening stab at The Skatt Brother’s creepy disco, by way of Grand Theft Auto, hit ‘Walk The Night’, and the brilliant ‘If I Had A Tail’, we get the stoner Status Quoisms of ‘Monsters In The Parasol’. So far so good, but then things go up a notch. ‘My God Is The Sun’ pummels like a heavy weight, the Nuremberg rally lights blinding behind various guitar players throwing shapes like that Enrich Keckel painting Bowie and Iggy Pop nicked off. There’s an extended, ominous intro to ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’ before the beat drops like a piano hitting concrete, heads are banging like it’s Bruxellles’ basement.
“It’s the last night of our tour. We couldn’t think of a better city to end it in then here”, Homme offers, but the flattery isn’t necessary, the whole place is already in his pocket. The glam barn dance of ‘The Way You Used To Do’ utilises their lighting to fine effect. Dotted across the stage are what look like eight feet high skinny neon safety bollards, the kind you might run over when you’re making a balls of parking the car. Throughout the show they’ll turn a variety of different colours, like those pound shop rings that claim to be able to read your emotions. The band gets a lot mileage out of either leaning against or kicking the shit out of them. There’s no big video screen, which means the eye is only more drawn to these simple but brilliant props.