Victoria Dillingham

16:34 6th July 2010

Fans sporting an impressive back catalogue of Led Zepplin, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age t-shirts emerged from Brixton tube station, leaving no doubt as to who was playing at the O2 Academy. It was of course Them Crooked Vultures, who announced just a fortnight ago they were staging the one-off London gig in aid of close friend and collaborator, Brian O’Connor (Eagles of Death Metal), who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Thousands filled the South London venue eager to catch a glimpse of their idols and those lucky enough to secure a front row spot will have spied sound technicians setting up of a live link enabling O’Connor to watch the gig from LA, where he is currently undergoing treatment. Excitement erupted early, as more than a dozen sandbags were laid at the base of Dave Grohl’s drum kit to prevent it from creeping forward.

The Foo Fighters front man and former Nirvana drummer, is renowned for hitting the skins harder than his rivals, and last night was no exception as he sent ripples across the pints clasped by those in the first four rows with the opener, ‘Mind Eraser, No Chaser’. Needing no invitation for participation the audience sang: “All I wanna do is have my mind erased,” along with bass guitarist, John Paul Jones (Led Zepplin) while Queens of the Stone Age’s singer/guitarist, Josh Homme delivered riff layered verse after verse.

Homme swiftly went on to dedicate a well received, ‘Dead End Friends’ to O’Connor - the benefactor of all proceeds from the night’s gig - prompting a predictable crowd surge, before hitting the high notes in flawless falsetto for the popular, ‘Scumbag Blues’. A sea of nodding heads instantaneously acknowledged the rock roaring riff intro of ‘Elephants’ - arguably the most melodic and Led Zepp influenced track of the band’s debut album.

During this track, Homme, not for the first time during the set, throws himself into a frenzy of moves as if riding a rollercoaster of rhythm, returning to his mic only to deliver his next line.  A noticeable contrast to his stage persona with Queens of The Stone Age, it’s as if the accumulative 60 years of experience that join him on stage in the form of Grohl and Jones, infuse him with a new level of confidence, making him the obvious front man for the much respected super group.

The fans continue to stay with them as they make their way through the majority of their studio album, including hits; ‘Nobody One Loves Me & Neither Do I’ and ‘Reptiles’ before closing the 90 minute show with ‘New Fang’ following a deafening and much deserved encore from their 6,000 strong crowd.