Them Crooked Vultures
Birmingham O2 Academy
Words and pictures by James Watkins
New sensationalist rock “supergroup” Them Crooked Vultures - or TCV as they are now commonly known - landed in the Midlands on Monday night to unleash songs from their huge-selling self-titled debut album.
The momentous collaboration of some of rock's finest in messers Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters/Nirvana), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), brought about an air of anticipation that the O2 Academy has never before seen.
Instead of the band being assembled like a rich-man’s football play-thing, this remarkable formation has been brought about through the band's initiator, Dave Grohl, who declared his desire to start a new project.
Grohl was keen to give up the microphone and centre stage and revert to his tub-thumping Nirvana days of being hidden behind the drumkit.
Little did anybody know who was waiting in the wings, in the form of former Led Zeppelin bassist, John Paul Jones, and Queens of the Stone Age vocalist, Josh Homme.
With their five-date UK tour selling out in mere minutes, TCV have already begun to take the world by storm with their unparalleled gutsy sound and fresh ideas.
Walking onto the stage looking stunned as the Birmingham crowd as they broke into a furore of noise, TCV quite literally started the show with a bang by playing the impressive Nobody Loves Me, that saw the 3,000-strong crowd jumping up and down to its pounding bass line and clinical drums.
Monday was one of those evenings when fans felt privileged to be witnessing something special and something very different – for me it was seeing Dave Grohl reunited with his drum kit, but for many, the sight of Led Zeppelin’s lesser well-known band member stomping up and down the stage like a marching guard alongside Josh Homme was sheer ecstasy.
Rolling through album tracks Scumbag Blues, Elephants and Mind Eraser, it fast became clear that this was the best performance of the year at the all-new Academy.
Simply put – TCV were just in a different league to any other rock band of the year. Maybe it was the rawness of the sound or the over the top jamming that added an extra dimension to each song – or maybe it was just a band that thoroughly understands their music. After all they have amassed millions of album sales between them over the past two decades and they're playing for the love of it - not the money.
Finishing the 90 minute set-list with Reptiles and an extended version of Warsaw, the crowd showed their appreciation for TCV's immense grandeur with a thunderous ovation that seemed to last an eternity.
All that was left was for the world’s finest “supergroup” to join arms and take a bow in front of their newly-adoring fans asking the question. Are TCV ready to take on the world or is the world ready for Them Crooked Vultures?