Queens Of The Stone Age/Turbonegro : Norfolk Norva Ballroom

A night of glorious rock...

Before the main event, a man in a balaclava. Yes, Nick Oliveri’s such a big fan of denim-clad Norwegian metal troupe Turbonegro that he’s donned a shoddy disguise in order to come onstage to introduce them. “LADEEEZ AND GENULLMEN! THE GREATEST FUCKEN ROCKUNROLL BAND ON THE PLANET!” he bellows. Is he right? Possibly. Although the recent Great White disaster means that the traditional climactic Turbo set-closer – a flaming roman candle shoved into singer Hank Von Helvete’s arsehole – has to be abandoned, their stadium-sized uranist metal frippery is still incendiary stuff. A clearly giddy Oliveri even sprints onstage to assist Von Helvete on ‘Dungaree High”s thrillingly dumbo ramalama.

Even Turbonegro have nothing on the headliners, though. Initially demonstrating a subtlety and willingness to play things quiet that belies their live-for-the-moment image, it’s only when Mark Lanegan pitches up to lend his oak-smoked tones to a fiendishly dark ‘Hanging Tree’ that they really hit high gear. Grinding out more than enough titanic psych-metal to put them in the same league as a the bands that inspired them, a muscular ‘No One Knows’ and the crazed Joe Meek metal of ‘Another Love Song’ still retain more intricacy and imagination than other, lesser groups could ever hope for. Even during the unnecessary drum solo, or when Nick changes the lyrics of ‘Feelgood Hit Of The Summer’ to “nicotine marijuana TURBONEGRO!” it’s easy to forget that there are other bands in the world. It doesn’t matter that tonight is not Queens Of The Stone Age at their most. Because this is them at their best.

Pat Long