Eagles Of Death Metal; KOKO, Camden, Londn, Friday August 31

Eagles Of Death Metal; KOKO, Camden, Londn, Friday August 31

No Josh Homme, but dumb riffs, hard rock and lacy thongs-a-plenty

Anote has yet to be played and Jesse ‘The Devil’ Hughes is already in the pit snogging strangers, shirt torn open, allowing his torso to be molested by a lust-crazed front row. Last night’s spoils – a lacey red bra and two thongs – are stretched across the bass drum. “Every night is ladies’ night with Eagles Of Death Metal,” declares Jesse, finally strapping on a guitar and welcoming all-comers to his ludicrously priapic clever/dumb high-voltage rock’n’roll revue.

EODM have triumphantly shrugged off the twin misconceptions that they are either a death metal band (duh – they’re The Eagles crossed with death metal) or they’re Josh Homme’s solo project. The hulking ginger rock god isn’t even here tonight due to Queens Of The Stone Age commitments, proving that Jesse radiates sufficient rockness to carry the show by himself.

Jesse’s lustrous biker’s ’tache and Aviators combo make him as likely to be devoured at G-A-Y as recruited by Hell’s Angels on Interstate 95. He looks like Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz after a two-week coke binge at the Chateau Marmont, while he clearly found the rest of his band by laying a whiskey trail from the door of the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Strip. The Eagles are pure LA rock theatre, but the lean, mean, fat-free version: neolithic riffs, butt-clenched rhythms, falsetto squeals and glam-fisted boogie-downs.

Like the Queens’ most lascivious moments played with added disco sleaze, it’s spunk-funk struts like ‘Whorehoppin’ (Shit, Goddamn)’ and ‘Cherry Cola’ that get the blood pumping to the nether regions. A few too many screaming Big Book Of Rock Clichés solos and ‘can I get an amen?’s and the Eagles Of Death Metal could be duckwalking across a minefield that already contains the graves of The Darkness and Electric Six. The trick is keeping your foot to the floor the whole time your tongue’s thrust into your cheek. And for almost two hours, Jesse gives it more gas than Texaco. Shit, goddamn!

Sam Richards