Eagles Of Death Metal @ Birmingham Academy – 5th April 2009

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Sunday nights are for winding down – chillaxing before work in the morning. I can guarantee that Eagles of Death Metal will simply not allow that to happen tonight.

EoDM in the studio, and EoDM live are two different beasts. In the studio they’re made up of former Republican speechwriter (and current registered NRA member) Jessie “The Devil” Hughes aka Boot Electric and Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh “Baby Duck” Homme aka Carlo Von Sexron on drums, of all things. Live, they’re made up of Hughes on vocals and guitar, former QOTSA guitarist “Darlin’” Dave Catching, former construction worker Brian “Big Hands” O’Connor on bass, and whichever Hollywood drummer they can get their hands on. A huge treat for drums fans on this tour is the inclusion of “The Sexy-Mexy” aka former Danzig and current QOTSA sticksman Joey Castillo. A mish-mash of musicians playing Garage Rock N’ Roll – sounds like fun!

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Preferring to let the music do the talking, the stage is a simple affair – black backdrop, house lights, their engineer stage right, drums, amps, and mic stands. They obviously think that there’s no need for theatrics, until Hughes walks on stage to the backing track of Ladies’ Night by Kool & The Gang, dancing for the ladies that he loves oh-so-much while the rest of the band tune up, before kicking into set opener “I Only Want You”.

In between songs, Hughes enjoys stomping round the stage in his pumped up manner, looking like a man who’s clearly loving all the female attention that he’s getting from the front of the crowd. Towards the back, where I was standing, it was a definite sausage-fest – I’m guessing the men would rather drink beer and whiskey while the women are flirting down the front!

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A few tracks in and it’s noticable how much beefier the songs are with a powerhouse like Castillo on drums. Homme’s drums on the first album are very amateur and thin, whilst tonight they’re really adding some extra depth.

Running through their set, it’s the tracks from their first two albums that seem to go down really well, including a storming cover of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck In The Middle” which they re-entitle “Stuck In The Metal”, and the song named after what is probably his most favourite thing in the world, “English Girl”.

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At this point of their set Hughes introduces “the fruity Miss Koko Bubbles” aka Kim Martinellito help perform “Prissy Prancin’” from their latest album. To be honest, I know nothing of this woman, but from where I was standing, she had some very sexy dance moves… Oh, and Hughes snogged the shit out of her when the song finished, so I’m guessing that they’re dating or something?

Anyway, the main set ends with “Whorehoppin’ (Shit, Goddamn)” and “I Want You Soo Hard (Boy’s Bad News)” and the crowd, predictably, go mad, before the tedious wait to see if the boys come back on. Here’s a hint for you – if the house lights don’t come up, and music doesn’t start playing over the PA, they’re gonna come back on!

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Hughes kicks off the encore on his own, asking the front row what they’d like to hear, and they decide on “Cherry Cola”, albeit in a stripped down man-and-guitar version, before kicking into a solo rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” which the band joining him partway through the song. The set concludes with “Wannabe In LA” and an elongated “Speaking In Tongues”.

With hindsight, I can say that the show was fun. They’re never going to be the worst band you ever see, but they’ll also never be the most awesome-est. Oh, and I’ve been told to tell you all that they make me want to wear leather trousers…

Review – Tony Hackett
Photos – Katja Ogrin

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