Queens of the Stone Age / Monster Magnet / Snake River Conspiracy

Nottingham Rock City

November 19 2000

So Sunday night, 3 bands = early start and I wander in just in time to see Snake River Conspiracy play their last song. The vocalist is in what looks like a leather bikini top, which will no doubt please many, and annoy many, and it's an industrial like sort of thing ish maybe not sure cos I only heard the one song and I've not played the CD yet even though I've been sent it cos I'm awkward like that and I really should put a full stop in this sentence, or period as some would say.

Have to say it's a surprise to see Monster Magnet on this bill, just in terms of them being a support act. Last time they played weren't they "co-headliners" (yeah right says Mr Cynical) with Rob Zombie? And I'm not sure they'd have pulled as many people as this on their own ('twas heaving, but me will have more to say on that in a little while I'm sure) but the reception they received suggested that they could've headlined themselves and done pretty decent. Instead they come on and the surfers start surfing. Dave Wyndorf utters something about "how hard can you fucking rock" and proceeds to twist and turn and gyrate. The likes of Powertrip manage to get some people yelping and squealing around me, and there's the always dubious pleasure of hearing other people singing along.

It is a set that is steeped in rock. Not only do the songs rock and Wyndorf gyrate and leap, but the guitars burn baby, literally, as one is set fire to, which gets no end of yelps and cheers and everyone standing on tiptoes trying to see the guitar burn. A new song, I think it was called Cry, introduced as a ballad seems to kill the momentum a little bit during the middle of the set, even though it actually sounds like a bit of a belter. But it's picked up with the likes of Bummer and the set closing crowd pleaser of Space Lord. Indeed, a set of rock.

But such is my lot in life, I once more have the pleasure to choose to stand near a bunch of people who want to talk their way through the set. Oh joy. Do you want me to hand you the gun now or later? They move away half way through the set. Maybe it's suddenly dawned on them that trying to hold a conversation in the middle of a gig when you're competing with a band armed with instruments and volume is, uh, how do I put this, oh yeah, A BIG STUPID FUCKING IDEA. SO GUIT IT WILL YOU FOR FUCKS SAKE. Sorry, had to shout to get myself heard over the din.

People. I love people. No really I do. I love it when the place is rammed as it is tonight. It's a nice kind of feeling. Sure, part of me thinks back to the last time they played here, when they were stuck in the rig can you believe, and it was all over at some ludicrously early hour in order to allow the club night to start. Tonight is different. But having moved away from my conversation happy friends, I of course manage to place myself in the very spot where people decide, for the entire duration of the 50 minutes of the change over, and indeed the duration of the Queens set, that they have to barge past. Why is it that whereever you go, they always have to barge past where you are. One guy, get this, manages to go past me about 5 times in different directions in 5 minutes. Uh, hello. Are you lost? Let me help you. Go outside. Do damage to yourself. Hey, you know what Mr Hicks used to say, just planting the seeds, just planting the seeds. And how many people does it take to walk from one place to another. You see groups of 6 or 7, and hey ho, 2 minutes later they're back again. Mustn't get lost or seperated, it's a BIG BIG place this is see. Ooooh yeah. Oh and look, now I've got people trying to go either side of me, and there's some people who can see that there's room for 1 line of people to file through, so they try and get 2 side by side through. Let me help you again. Go outside. Do harm to yourself.

Sorry, it annoys the living heeby 'kin jeebies out of me. It's a Dave thing. Please don't take offence. Unless you're one of the guilty party in which case, hey, you know what to do.

>Oh yeah, QOTSA are on. After what is a stupidly long changeover period, they emerge on stage with a white backdrop against which a projection is used, Nick Oliveri first pounding out the intro to Feel Good Hit of the Summer, the emphasis live placed more and more on the "cocaine" chant. The man is grinning madly at something or someone in the front, and though the words madman and insane are used far to frequently in the rock world, you just get the feeling that the man is probably one of the more unpredictable characters. Mind you, he's got a heck of a voice, able to go from almost hardcore like deep throated roar, especially suited to the likes of Tension Head, to near angelic backing vocals. It compliments Josh Homme's style well, and means that there's actually always 2 focal points rather than just the one. It's also noticeable during the set what a good voice Homme has, which feels strange in a way that a guy that previously was "simply" the guitarist in a band has been able to make the transition so well.

The concentration is on the current album, with a Desert Sessions track thrown in as well. Leg of Lamb and Monsters in the Parasol illustrates the massive grooves that the band has, which even makes the set closing jam bearable - and I dislike jams at the best of times. Homme is even moved to applaud at the end, almost in recognition that it does take something to hold an audiences attention during a jam, yet they managed it. Regular John and If Only still stick out from the debut, though it seems noticeable that they get a lesser reaction than the new material, and especially encore of recent chart nudger The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret.