Travelling a dark desert highway

I can’t possibly say I’ve been unaware of Queens of the Stone Age. That would be a lie.

I own a couple of albums. I’ve seen them at a festival. Their existence isn’t a mystery to me.

But sat in the Manchester Arena I looked around and couldn’t see a spare seat anywhere, leading me to think `when did they get this big?’

And the truth is that I’ve not really been paying attention. I read the odd review and interview, hear songs when they come out but otherwise don’t give them too much thought.

And that, my friends, has been a mistake if Sunday night was anything to go by.

I came away from their show with the same opinion I got after seeing Pearl Jam in the same venue – that I could have listened to it all night.

It came over like the soundtrack to a getaway car being driven through the desert night in a cult 70s heist film.

A hint of menace powered by four-star gasoline starring, obviously, Josh Homme as gang leader and driver.

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And while he supplies the swagger, his gang of Stone Agers provide the propulsion.

In keeping with the band’s aesthetic the stage setting was lean and spare and, bar a drum solo, they barely wasted a note.

I like the fact that while you would definitely file it under `rock’ there’s a weariness and a yearning undertone to some of the material helped by Homme’s distinctive vocals and their use of keyboards to underpin some of the riffage.

A great night only marginally spoiled by the Arena charging £12.50 to park. I don’t normally go in their car park because of the time it takes to get out, but options for street parking and in nearby business premises are becoming rarer.

£12.50! I was upset when it first cost that much to see a band (Japan as it happens). Now it’s that to park. What is the world coming to?

 

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