Queens Of The Stone Age: 100 Club, London, Thursday May 3

New line-up. New songs. Still dangerous as fuck and no deaf people in sight

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The first song is called ‘Misfit Love’ and it sounds like robots having sex. The second is called ‘Battery Acid’ and it sounds like robots having sex on drugs. Yes, Queens Of The Stone Age are back – and they’ve chosen London’s legendary punk hovel to unleash the filthy futurist fury of ‘Eva Vulgaris’ live for the first time, ever.

Last time Josh Homme played this town, the two-and-a-half hour set felt more like the final, panting flail past a finishing line. With sickness, tour cancellations and the 7/7 bombings to contend with, the band were not having much fun. Tonight is different. No-one in the world has heard the new album before. It’s a new line-up; joining Josh, Joey Castillo and Troy Van Leeuwen we have lithe keyboard-player Dean Fertita and Mikey Shoes on bass. And thrillingly, this being the 100 Club, there’s no back row.

Most importantly though, they’ve rediscovered their inner Lemmy. Josh takes a back seat, committing carnal sins on guitar, snogging a stage-invading audience member and letting the licks do the strutting while Mikey, despite looking like a stoner, demonstrates 100 ways he might have got that big scar on his head. Like a plutonium-powered Stooges they tear through the desert of nightmares on ‘Sick, Sick, Sick’ and juggle fireballs with segments of Blur’s ‘Song 2’ on ‘3’s & 7’s’. With seven new songs, the hits are distilled, but they still flex their sizeable pop muscles on ‘Little Sister’ and make-out tune ‘In My Head’. All that’s left is the Satanic hailstorm of ‘A Song For The Dead’ and the 100 Club is left with the sheepish tingle from the best kind of rogering it’s possible to get in a crowded room.

Dan Martin

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