NO JOKE: KILLING = 40

KILLING JOKE ON STAGE IN OXFORD FOR THEIR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR

It’s 16-11-2018 and we’re just dropping in for a minute to acknowledge one of the greats:Killing Joke, we salute you.

Killing Joke, we salute you.

No, forget that – too much like a symbol of establishment-sanctioned respect. Killing Joke, we REVEL with you, gathering in celebratory chaos against the wrongs of the world order.

Irony is, I can’t get to the O2 tonight so no gathering for me, gotta hope they stick it out for a 42nd anniversary tour. Am instead attending vicariously in real time with a shot of Pylon.

Will the gig be as much of a force as their 2015 Oxford showing?

No-one’s going to bet against it. Somebody tell us what’s happening at KJ four-zero!

Soundtrack to these words: CD 2 of Pylon. Apotheosis and Panopticon stoking a dense, supercharged uplift.

Killing Joke - Pylon

HALLOWEEN NOISE PATTONS

GREETINGS, schlock pickers. Ready for some deranged voicework this All Hallows’ Eve? Good.

We’ve said it before but if Melvins are Halloween’s house band then super-colluder Mike Patton is surely one of its top MCs. From loverboy whispers and honeyed sweeteners to lullaby daymares, carnival histrionics and pure fucking gibberish, he does it all – and then some. Never more than a beat away from innocence or insanity, it’s this wanton skittery that makes him the rock-vocal equivalent of cinema’s most amoral psychos: the ones who do bad shit just because.

So, we’re digging the grave (yes) of his more rock-heavy oeuvre. If you’re short of time, hit When Good Dogs Do Bad Things first and fill the gaps later. 11 tracks, audio only, no videos except for our short sharp opening shot of… Will Smith? Too right. Patton is the voice of his I Am Legend post-human nemesis.

SURPRISE! YOU’RE DEAD!
Could have chosen Zombie Eaters for the title alone, but no. For those of us snagged into FNM’s world by We Care A Lot, The Real Thing was our first exposure to the new guy and it takes just four tracks for him to go voco-loco on our No Faith ears. The start of a new era.

GI JOE
Boneyard beats in a street-smart bed. Non-maniacal menace. All in day’s work for a Melvins/Patton/Ipecac project.

CHURCH OF THE MOTHERFUCKERS
It’d be easy to pick the Bauhaus cover from the Dead Cross debut but Bela Lugosi’s Dead is all over Halloween anyway, so let’s gather for a more visceral midnight mass instead.

DER GOLEM
A flawless, monstrous body of classic horror themes skewered and reassembled with grotesque results, The Director’s Cut is one of those albums that’s end-to-end fright-night perfect. It’s why their depraved Omen made our first playlist five years ago because it’s bound for the asylum on a brakeless hell-cart. Anything from this record could make the cut and this year, it’s Der Golem. Slow and Slayer heav-eee with Patton escalating the madness.

WAR SONG
Pace breaker, mood changer, heavy atmos spirited up from the rituals and songs of the Native Americans, Tomahawk style.

SUCKER
Light relief with this voyeuristic hip-pop project, but it still fits the vibe. Check the seductive call-and-response voicework, catchy as balls.

WHEN GOOD DOGS DO BAD THINGS
As if throwing your Salem’s Lot in with Slayer and Melvins wasn’t OTT enough, Patton threw his vocal pyros at this four-track EP back in 2002. Precision mathprogmentalism at its most possessed, Good Dogs is a frenzied attack whose first two minutes leave you savaged. After that, the lull a-bye-bye and slasher false end finale. Mike Patton’s finest six minutes? Maybe. Just load the EP and lose your senses in this one-off detonation of demented genius.

WHEN THE STARS BEGIN TO FALL
Tomahawk goes sneakabout and throws in some theramin? Perfect. Duane Denison’s chords muster the tension, Patton blows and soars.

INVOCATION
Bacteria Cult is a better-named Kaada Patton record, but Romances gives us Invocation, a genteel creep that’s 60s sound-effect spectral and almost the ghost side of Fantomas without the bloody metallic body parts.

MALPRACTICE
A twisted tale of christknowswhat, under-the-knife molestation? Jagged riffage and a symphonic pile-up that’s borderline cacophonous, Malpractice is another of Patton’s most out-there Faith No More moments. APPLAUSE??? Done like a slain beast.

THE HOLY FILAMENT
It’s not their most avant or celebrated album I guess Disco Volante is but California packs some of Mr Bungle’s most potent moments and the score-ish Holy Filament is a mellow supernatural sliver of an ending to this year’s playlist. The first half sweats tension, the second half sweeps a falsetto from the afterlife.

Happy listening? We didn’t even mention perhaps THE most fitting Patton track of all, and that’s because it’s an album: Delirium Cordia by Fantomas (who else?). A score of fragments and wide-open spaces means that between the bursts of Patton garble, Lombardo assault, ghostly ambience and white noise, your mind has much room to roam about in – and if you’ve flicked the album’s artwork, those pristine surgery scenes (dislodged eyeball, intestinal wash) make you feel a wee bit queasy. And there’s no escape, because it’s a 75-minute track. You can’t skip anything. Trapped, imprisoned and captured till you hit the 20-minute vinyl run-out groove at the end. Music for voluntary confinement … keep the lights off if you dare.

For a less sombre listen with some mildly retro metal videos, check Hairy Halloween I and II from the last couple of years, or dabble in the gothic splendour of the late Saint Pete of Steele and Type O’s Sabbath slowdown. PUMPKINS OUT, over.

RITUAL UNION 2018

KIRAN LEONARD, GNOD, GHOSTPOET, WARMDUSCHER, BOY AZOOGA AND GAZ COOMBES among the bands at Oxford’s Ritual Union festival, October 20, 2018

Ritual Union returns for its second year and you probably know the drill by now – four stages of bands on Cowley Road and some in-stores at Truck Store. Bo Ningen destroyed the place last year. Is anyone gonna carry their fearsome torch this time around?

Everyone has their own path through a multi-stage multi-band bill like this, and our path starts at Gnod Central: use the Salford collective as an immovable anchor point and work back, up and around the rest of the schedules.

Ritual Union 2018

Right then, where to start? Being familiar with the tastily grooving Loner Boogie (but nothing else) from Boy Azooga, we might as well head to the Bullingdon for a 1.30-ish kick off with Cardiff’s homegrown. But while getting wristbanded for Ritual Union admission, the doors are leaking a very un-riffy waft. Into the venue itself and it’s full-volume Boy bland. Needs salt – lots of it, and quick. The place is packed to the back though, so they must have got something right somewhere, and that somewhere is evidenced on the next track. Introduced as a new one, it packs the rock salt and jams on a thick, just-dirty-enough riff and yes, ’tis good. And so they go, a likeable young bunch who no doubt finish off with a massive Boner Loogie, but I’ll never know because even that highly tempting proposition isn’t quite enough to sacrifice Ghosts in the Photographs to the Timetable Gods. Time for a polite Azooga exit and a swift dash up to The Library for the last 10 minutes of the Oxford band’s set.

Aaaaaaaaaaah. Downstairs, small room, thick air, thirty-odd people and a bass buzz vibrating your vitals. Feels like home, musically speaking. Ghosts in the Photographs do instrumental post rock, the kind of thing that’s not wildly different from other instrumental post rock but, because you’ve got a leaning for instrumental post rock, you get a kick out of hearing more instrumental post rock. Explosions in the Sky delicacy leavened by bass-force 5ive, if that’s not too shallow a summary. Judging by the spoken sample fading out at the end, I’m guessing the track was their 18-minute Dyslexorcist, but it is a guess. One to explore.

Any band who did a session for Marc Riley on BBC Radio 6 Music last week has to be worth a look, so the next stop is the larger-than-life Warmduscher. Post-punkish angles, sharp endings, shitloads of gothabilly reverb and odd tales that don’t sound remotely serious, relayed by a guy in a sports jacket, shades and a cowboy hat. You gotta love it: party Warm. And with Fat White Family bloodlines running through the band, there’s no doubt a fair amount of muck as well.

Compelling in a very different way is Kiran Leonard who clips some wired, wiry discord that scores pretty high on the awkward-ometer. Spiky jangle jerk and twitch. Leonard’s voice is an acquired taste of often fast yelps that hit and miss while he battles the guitar like he’s plugged into it himself. You have to watch. Great band too, especially the drummer. If Tim Buckley grew up with the New York alt rock underground and hired a Ryley Walker rhythm section, would this be something like? Much to check with Kiran Leonard, and whatever falls out of his albums, it won’t be dull.

Right then, the big one. After all this talk of angles, twitch and flinch, good as it is, you’re ready for a proper fix from the promised land of amplification, riffs, industrial intoxication and body-beating catharsis. You gneed Gnod.

Anything like the oversized Unkle Frank Says Turn It Down would be a welcome flooring, right? But we don’t get it, nor anything close to it. Anyone hoping for Chapel Perilous Gnod or Just Say No…Gnod is not gonna get their fix because tonight’s incarnation of the Salford noisemakers is Heavy Electronic Ambient Gnod – two guys, electronics, subterranean drones and pulses, and a fuzzed-out film backdrop. Art Installation Gnod. Riiiiight. What does it all mean? Let’s open up and wait for the transcendent hit, the doom-shaker resonance, the seismic epiphany

nothing. Boring as fuck. To stand and watch 30 minutes of Nothing Happens – not even a building hypnotic swell – is a mega switch-off, and that time is flushed forever. Hilariously, when they end the set they forget they’ve been scheduled for 45 minutes not 30 so they crank it back up for another 15. Sure, we could leave, but in for a penny in for a pound … of false optimism. Bit gutted, really. Those recent albums make a majestic racket and the prospect of Gnod noise done live was reason #1 for getting the gig ticket.

Anyway, it’s nothing a G&D coffee stop can’t fix and we’re onto just two more bands from the slicker end of the day. Ghostpoet pulls out a goody, his downbeat noir beefed nicely by the live band, and Ghostpoet himself being more animated than expected. Many Moods at Midnight opens the set and a keyboard-heavy Freakshow shuts it, but the penultimate heavy-hitting Immigrant Boogie is what it’s all about. Amped, man. Sol-id. Not ghostly.

Closing the day is Gaz Coombes, and the star quality is obvious. His voice is in top shape, as are the band and backing singers who flesh out his solo gems like Walk the Walk’s delicious falsetto funk and the addictive moto-pulser Deep Pockets. Guitarist Nick Fowler spreads enough grit to rough it up in the right places, and it’s a job well done by a class act. Hats off to the hatted one.

OM: Conference of the Birds

MATT PIKE GOT HIGH ON FIRE. SLEEP’S OTHER TWO WENT OM

When Sleep shed the literal Sabbath-isms of Holy Mountain and truly came into Being on Dopesmoker (nee Jerusalem), they revealed more than a so-deep-it’s-molten devotion to the transcendental power of repetition – they revealed a canny knack for bending time itself. On paper, not much happens in Sleep’s then-final one-track statement: minor variations on a riff, stacks of same-chord bludgeon, scattered solos, spread over an hour and a bit and all at a seemingly sloth-like tempo. Yet somehow, that hour never ever drags. I don’t know why. Sloth is a misnomer because that shit’s a real eye opener, pointing out some sort of Way whether you want it or not, warping your perception as it does so. Things ain’t as slow as you think you think.

On paper, not much happens in Sleep’s then-final one-track statement: minor variations on a riff, stacks of same-chord bludgeon, scattered solos, spread over an hour and a bit and all at a seemingly sloth-like tempo. Yet somehow, that hour never ever drags. I don’t know why. Sloth is a misnomer because that shit’s a real eye opener, pointing out some sort of Way whether you want it or not, warping your perception as it does so. Things ain’t as slow as you think you think.

Sleep’s rhythm keepers, bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Hakius, create exactly the same time-distortion thing with Om. When the trio dissolved, Sleep’s evolutionary end point was Om’s beginning, a beginning which freed them to go for the cosmic jugular with long, meditative excursions laced with heavy reps. Dopesmoker is Om’s template, but with one massive difference:

No Guitars.

Yep, the band that made one of THE most definitive, uncompromising Heavy Rock statements of all time birthed a duo who don’t even put guitars on their records. Question is, does it matter? Nope. This band’s on a trajectory all of its own and that means it demands to be judged on different terms. There’s still a ton of weight in Om’s records, but the difference is more in the way we listen – the lack of axe, the arch metal instrument, compels us to drop any preconceptions about what Om/ex-Sleep should sound like… stoner/drone/doom-lite, none of it makes sense. Om aren’t metal and they’re barely even rock, certainly not on the surface, but with Hakius’s tumbling rhythms and Cisneros’s propulsive distorto bass thickness, they definitely flow. Om’s musical currency is m-Omentum, pure and simple.

OM album cover Conference of the Birds

Atop that glutinous drum ‘n bass brew, the cleaned-up vocals give Om their third definingelement. Now even more of a monotone than it was on Dopesmoker, Al’s voice just sort of hangs there, a soft human drone levelling out any musical peaks and dips underneath. Crucially, this emotional void – in delivery, not literal content – is precisely what makes Om Om. That detachment accentuates the music’s repetition, brings a mantra-like calm to the tracks and threads a Constant through every track, and whether it’s achieved through design, vocal limitation or both, his style works as an effect and breathes a mesmeric calm to the records.

With such an unwavering sense of self and purpose, it’s no surprise that Conference of the Birds offers no real variation on Variations on a Theme, the Om debut. It has two tracks, both around the 16–18-minute mark, but if there’s one argument for picking up a record that’s pretty much the debut continued, it’s in this: At Giza.

Lean, clean and taut, and maybe even a tad delicate for the hardheaded Sleep/Om devotee, side 1’s At Giza marks an evolution of the Om thumbprint.

Floydian in its Set the Controls galactic ambience, dramatic in its pace and tension, At Giza is quiet and spacious, maybe even nimble … unlike the ultra evenflow of other Om tracks, this track actually builds to something. After slowing to a stalker’s near-silence halfway through, soft drums – the warmest, closest drums you ever heard – signal a colossal surge and climax and sure enough, we get one of those Moments. Flip the record over and Flight of the Eagle is Sleep-heavy by comparison, a dense-from-the-off work of low-end bass action that trundles Om-ward with glue on its wheels, true to the debut: the hypnotic pull is complete. Put it on heavy rotation and let it sink … in. Deep.

Released 2006 on Holy Mountain
Tracklist:
At Giza (15:55)
Flight of the Eagle (17:27)

This review was first posted on Julian Cope’s Head Heritage site back in 2010, and I’ve revised it very slightly so it makes sense in a post-Om/reactivated-Sleep world. For a Cope-ian reading of Om’s debut album, gorge on his Album of the Month review of Variations on a Theme.

FROM SIKTH TO SEALIONWOMAN

SEPTEMBER REWIND: SIKTH PLAY OXFORD, PLUS SOFT JUNGLE FUNK, SLIFT ROCK AND THE CALL OF THE SEALIONWOMAN

SikTh play Bullingdon. Bullingdon gets moshed. If you caught the returning tech metal machine on tour, you’ll know that SikTh have zero difficulty getting their crowd shifting, which is no small feat given that a fair-sized chunk of the crowd were SikTh fans the first time around. Djent moshers never die. They just lose hair.

No loss of hair from vocalist Mikee, though. Dreads locked on a lithe frame, he and co-vocalist Joe Rosser interlock, work and jump every bit of stage space they can reach, generating a furious energy on stage and off. A SikTh crowd is very definitely a SikTh crowd – devoted – which (confession time) ain’t me. I’m a dabbler. The vocal styleees put me off back in the day, but the return of SikTh and their raging precision core has piqued interest so here we are, checking out the real thing. The cartoonly vocals are pretty much purged, stage presence is max, performance juicy, crowd mental, job done. Beyond that, I don’t know a fucking thing. Hold My Finger was a beast, though. Would I have regretted not going? Yeah, it’s a full-on show. Did it convert, would I go again? Dunno, but that’s a taste thing, not a performance thing. SikTh killed it, anyone could see that.

For old time’s sake, here’s Hold My Finger (studio version), and vids by Oxford’s Msry and Liverpool’s Loathe if you fancy an aggro double, for ’twas them what did a support on it.

And now for something different completely.

JUNGLE: For Ever
Picked this up under severe time pressure: we’re a year on from a self-made tradition and time is tight for rule #1 – it’s the last day of the allotted week. Thankfully rule #2 is met, with minutes to spare. When asked “Which of these new releases came out this week?”, the ever-helpful Truck Store manager says, “This, this, this, this, this and these.” Which is shit material for a blog post, I know, but if you picture a bearded young record shop keeper pointing at rows of CDs while a bespectacled captain clueless looks on, you get the idea. Low’s new album Double Negative gets bigged up, and it’s verrrrrry tempting but … not quite right for this project – we need something less well established, something more surprising, something new-band-new that’s picked on the fly. Truck Store points out Jungle. What, the genre? (age alert). No, the band. Loose rhythm and soul funk from London, catchy and good, they’ve played it in the shop. Track 1 Smile is cued on headphones for mon delectation. SOLD. This is it. Slick, warm, irresistible. Light sounds for late season sunshine.

Right then, time to get back on a noisier track with short words on new shit. Here are three ear-catchers from this past month.

SLIFT – Doppler Ganger
Wooooaaah! Hyperactive bass and beats and garaged psyche, straight outta the same blocks that White Denim scrawled their names on but spiked with shots of heavier metals. Odd name, maybe it’s a Toulouse thing, maybe we’ll just get used to it. Slift right here.

AUTHOR & PUNISHER – Night Terror
If the onset of autumn flips your mood to Industrial Crush then you’d better submit to a Night Terror beating by one-man machine-man, Author & Punisher. It’s got that sub-sonic depth charge thing welded to its lowest of mid-paced low ends, like Godflesh/Greymachine overloading the underbelly. A menacing yawp and scrape, just in time for Halloween. Night Terror this way.

SEALIONWOMAN – Call
Music for nights at sea, this. Cavernous dark nights free of light pollution, the dark that you lean into from the land’s edge. Kitty Whitelaw sings over Tye McGivern’s ebb-and-surge bass and drones/electronics/effects (no percussion here), and for a moment you think of Warren Ellis. Call drifts in from the wind, cloaked in sea-bound mythos. Beguiling stuff.

til next time!

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind

REZNOR ON RECORDS

AUGUST REWIND: PHYSICS BAND PSYCHE, BARE-BONES CHAKA FUNK AND ODDBALL MINT ROCK, PLUS THE NIN VINYL MISSION STATEMENT

You can work on an album for two years and it’s judged, consumed, forgotten in an afternoon [laughs]. Then it’s onto the next Kanye West think piece. Which is, y’know, depressing for an artist. ‘Is anyone even listening out there?’”

That was Trent Reznor speaking to the Quietus and it’s an interview that’s well worth your time (though you’ll have to get past John Doran projecting his own narrative all over the shop and managing to diss Queens of the Stone Age as auto-piloting cash grabbers trading off past albums … what???? Odd example. In no sense do I hear Homme’s gang pushing out by-numbers records just so they can tour the old stuff. What is Doran on?)

Anyway, Reznor’s quote struck me because it’s something that’s crossed my mind before, and I say that as a music nut. Are we really listening to music? Not in terms of sound quality, because that’s a whole other issue, but in terms of time quality.

Do we give enough to music?

Most likely not, if we’re honest, no. We’re swirling in the tyranny of immediacy. I’m not even signed up with Spotify or anything and I still can’t keep up with the CDs I buy and the radio programmes I like.

Go to the Nine Inch Nails website and you’ll see a statement that you can’t really dispute, even if the idea of ‘a vinyl mission statement’ first sounds like a pomp-ass thing to do. Reznor doesn’t dismiss digital or the convenience of non-physical format listening. He just articulates a preference and a hope and, coming from the artist, it’s a worthy notion, I reckon. Makes us reflect on our relationship with music, and whether we consume and judge too quickly because the Now Culture is what we are. The very existence of that statement, and the quote at the top of this page, are reminders that there are creators at the other end of the music.

And they care a fucking lot.

All of which is a roundabout way of acknowledging NIN’s awesome Bad Witch EP and telling you there’s no review.

Not listened to it enough. Let’s meet later for that one.

OTHER NEW STUFF
Right then, here’s how to undermine the above point – throw out a few new earcatchers from recent weeks.

The Physics House Band – Surrogate Head

Play this power trio loud as hell.” So said Julian Cope on the sleeves of his Brain Donor albums and it’s top advice for this Brighton instrumental three-o too, especially on this 2017 track – a muscular, space-scraping trip that’s packed with muso prowess yet still beholden to the bludgeoning power of a gutsy riff ‘neath a prog manifesto. Other tracks might take in more moods, musicality and Battles quirk, but Surrogate Head is not afraid to rock.

Chaka Khan – Like Sugar

Sparse, lean and stripped-to-the-trunk funk, Like Sugar is as clean or filthy as you want it to be. Is there a more addictive big-name bass line out there this summer? Comes off like one of those futuristic late-‘70s deep cuts that’s been unearthed to reveal its timeless self because it’s straight from The Source. Maximum groove from minimal moves. Sweet.

Forktail – Beast ’82

Play this straight after Like Sugar and you get a neat flow going. It’s funky but it’s not funk, built instead on metronomic beats topped off by creeper atmos creak-and-haunt that takes you to the fringe of the unknown without hurling you in … this time. Rhythm and dance for the witching hour. The Forked one is right here.

Lark – John Berger’s Wild Shirt

If a less hinged Karl Hyde stabbing lyrics over big beats and dissonant bursts of sticky, beaten bent guitar fancies your tickle, artist Karl Bielik and Lark might be your next stop. Turmoil rock? A track this ragged could never be played the same way twice. Lark about this way.

Franklin Mint – Animal Balloons

Where have you been, Franklin Mint? Four years since the so…dinosaurs EP and it’s pretty fr*nkl*n exciting to hear there’s now an album of oddster rock twists. Hailing from Bristol but feeling like a lost band from the alt-rock underground before it broke bigger, Animal Balloons is a first scratching of Scrage, whatever the fuck that means, and it’s wholly Mint-y. CD ordered, cannot wait, not cheating with further online listens.

’til next time!

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind

amplifier wordsmith: the monthly rewind

QOTSA + IGGY POP: live

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE ALL-DAYER AT FINSBURY PARK, JUNE 30 2018. IGGY POP SECOND IN COMMAND

It’s a heatwave, it’s a scorching Saturday aft and there are complaints-worthy queues for the bars in Finsbury Park. Do you file in with a human snake for an hour to get yourself a sip o’ the shite stuff?

Or do you make sure you miss not one second of Iggy Pop?

You know the answer, and when Iggy skip-runs out, shirtless from the off, to I Wanna Be Your Dog, it’s confirmed. Screw lager, here is the Miracle of Pop. He’s lost speed, he limps badly and his muscle tone is much melted, but seeing him still giving it everything after a long life of feral performances and time-defying physicality is a life-affirming spectacle. And it is a pleasant shock to see him fired up like this in the lowering sun. The Post Pop Depression Live at the Albert Hall DVD – another captivating performance (is there any other?) – looked like it might have been a last-of-its-kind statement from Pop, the start of a move towards slightly more refined – or, at least, less physical – performances, but no. It’s like he can’t help himself. The momentarily mature Pop that peeped through PPD has been ditched for a return to the Stooges wild.

Gimme Danger is next up, and then: “If you saw somebody hitchiking … near Swindon … would you pick ’em up?” Cue The Passenger, then Lust for Life. He’s put the big-crowd guns out early, so what happens next? This is where it gets interesting, this is what it means to pull a great mass-appeal set out of your pants. Skull Ring. I’m Sick of You. TV Eye, Search and Destroy, Some Weird Sin, Mass Production …. who would have thought Mass Production on a day like this? It always sounds 10 times longer than it actually is, and crowd chatter does rise as it goes on, but you cannot ignore this crawling Idiot-grotesque factory dirge dragging the beauty out of a hot summer afterglow. But then, knowing he has to bring everyone back with the last track, he lets the Jean Genie out. Pop doesn’t mention Bowie, but surely everyone thinks Bowie, and while we do it’s Pop the Survivor who twists his body through a track that links them forever.

As far as tracklists for support slots go, it’s pretty hard to beat. As far as performances from still-got-it legends go … same. He looks strong – almost broken, but in the same gasp, nowhere near, with voice to match. We’ll never work it out, the guy’s still a phenomenon who you’ve got to watch as much as listen to. Pop time is show time. Again.

Queens of the Stone Age … are on ridiculous form. There’s no point teasing it out, they just are. Finsbury Park 2018 will surely be known as one of those gigs in a band’s lifetime where the cosmic forces got all their arses in line, and those who made it were lucky enough to witness something more than a bit special. It felt like they played for hours but finished in minutes. If I Had a Tail, Lost Art of Keeping a Secret and Feet Don’t Fail Me Now are early starters, and it’s clear the band are in a fearsome groove – pacy, heavy, clear and jammed with musicianship: a consummate rock gig and they never stop working it. Little Sister and Sick Sick Sick hit hard and lift high, but then again so does everything, the one exception being Make It Wit Chu’s seductive breather ahead of a SFTD one-two.

Songs for the Deaf shuts the main set down. The encore is a 10-minute Song for the Dead, shit ye not. THAT’S how to finish off Finsbury – a hard rock orgy for 45,000. Do it all over again? If only we could. QOTSA albums on permanent replay ever since. Untouchable.

Queens of the Stone Age do Finsbury

QOTSA do Finsbury