Photo: Duncan Elliott
“Don’t act like you’re too cool to clap your motherfucking hands.”
Declaring from the get go that his doctor’s given him a “shitload of drugs” and he’s feeling “pretty fucked up”, Josh Homme pulls no punches in tonight’s performance in Manchester.
Openers ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire’ and ‘No One Knows’ from ‘Songs For The Deaf’ swiftly kick the crowd onto their feet and very few bums touch seats from here on in as the thundering rock train rattles full steam ahead towards the Californian desert.
The ‘…Like Clockwork’ cuts included provide a fresh gust of raw power, with the grinding riffage of ‘My God Is The Sun’ and sleazy guitar groove ‘If I Had A Tail’ (featuring the devilishly crooned ‘Gitchy gitchy Ooh La La Da Doo Ron Ron’) feeling just as familiar as ‘Little Sister’ and ‘The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret’.
Affectionately dubbed the ‘Ginger Elvis’, Homme lives up to this the most on a super-slick version of ‘Make It Wit Chu’, with the crowd getting in on the falsetto, and channels his inner Bowie on the likes of ‘Kalopsia’ as well as the aforementioned ‘Tail’.
The encore brings out ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’, where Homme takes his seat at the piano for a burst of psychedelic stoner balladry, before jumping back to the call of duty for ‘Feel Good Hit of the Summer’.
The last time Queens of The Stone Age played Manchester, they were headlining the Student Union Academy. Three years later, they’ve proved that the Arena throne is theirs for the taking.