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.
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?