Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl plays epic surprise show for Club NME at London’s Moth Club

The legendary club night came back with a bang

There was once a time when any discerning indie kid in London or the surrounding area would make a beeline straight for Camden’s KOKO on a Friday night. After all, it’s there you’d find the legendary Club NME, where the best new bands (and occasionally some surprise bigger ones) would play and then NME DJs would spin all your favourite indie bangers, soundtracking many a messy night out of necking pints and making out with someone whose knowledge of every obscure Libertines song on the internet was as good as yours.

There’s no need to be nostalgic for bygone days, though, because, as of tonight (August 16), Club NME is back. There’s only one way to usher in the return of such an iconic institution, of course, and that’s by having one of the biggest names in the game play in the tiny, tiny surroundings of London’s Moth Club. So, after an opening set from Saint Leonard (pictured below), who really got Club NME’s return underway? Only Dave Grohl! Here’s how the night unfolded with the nicest man in rock’n’roll. 

Saint Leonard

Credit: Jenn Five

Dave’s here!

Dave Grohl

Credit: Jenn Five

“I’ve been a friend of the people at the NME for a long, long time,” Dave says as he makes his way on stage, explaining how he came to be here tonight. “When I walked in tonight, everyone said: ‘What are you gonna do?’ I said, ‘I have no fucking clue.’ So tonight we’ll play a couple of songs. I can’t believe how many people are here. We might have to do more than one fucking song!” 

Playing with just his guitar and “my friend Rami on keyboard”, he kicks everything off with “a sweet little love song from Foo Fighters’ first record” – aka ‘Big Me’.

And so is Rick Astley?

Dave Grohl

Credit: Jenn Five

As if it wasn’t enough that Dave Grohl is a) in the building, b) on stage with a guitar and a mic, and c) playing some of Foo Fighters’ biggest hits, he’s also brought a mate along. It is, obviously, Rick Astley of ’80s pop and subsequent Rick-roll fame. Rick’s on drums for ‘Times Like These’ and stays bashing those skins for a cover of his own hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, with Grohl on vocals. “I don’t know much about Club NME,” Dave says, “but I know you’re not gonna see this anywhere else.” Classic.

Rick’s still going and the Foos hits keep coming

Old Astley’s still on the drum stool, providing one of the best drummers in the music biz a beat. Now we’re onto ‘Everlong’, a true gem in the Foos’ arsenal and a sure fan favourite.

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Casual Friday night with Dave Grohl and Rick Astley.

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“This is not what I expected at all” Dave says later. “I was expecting 20 fucking people that wanted to hear Pulp songs or whatever.” Then it’s into ‘Best Of You’ and guess what? Rick’s still keeping up the pace.

Time to say goodbye

Dave Grohl

Credit: Jenn Five

All good things must come to an end and this extra special spectacular thing must too, sadly. But Dave’s got one last little message to keep our hopes up. “We’ll see you again, I hope,” he tells the packed Moth Club. “Maybe we’ll bring the whole band next time.” We hope so – a full Foo Fighters secret set seems like the only way Dave will be able to top this.

The setlist

Dave Grohl

Credit: Jenn Five

Dave Grohl, with a little help from Rami and Rick Astley, played:

‘Big Me’
‘Times Like These’
‘Never Gonna Give You Up’
‘Everlong’
‘Best Of You’