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Live: Eagles Of Death Metal

Palm Desert’s finest hard rockers return

“Can I dig it, ayymen?!” cries singer/guitarist Jesse ‘The Devil’ Hughes during tonight’s hard, desert rock’n’roll set.

As the band tear into Cherry Cola, he scarcely needs to boom: “Is everybody doin’ OK?” A toned, tattooed lothario with a magnificent moustache, Jesse juts and struts around the stage like a horny, funky chicken. Most of his chat goes out to “all the beautiful ladies”, his hip-shaking gets wonderfully silly, he beams at the heaving crowd in infectious delight… It’s almost enough to distract you from Josh Homme’s presence behind the drums.

Almost: people whoop as Josh appears, in a relatively rare live appearance with his QOTSA alternative. Eagles Of Death Metal – no more a death metal band than Jesse is a shy, retiring sort – make a riotous return. In the run-up to their first LP in seven years (due in October), they’re a hot ticket here in Camden. Everyone has turned up, it seems; hell, even Duff McKagan is here.

From Jesse’s bluesy soloing in I Wanna Be In LA to party-thumpers like I Want You So Hard, it might be a one-dimensional affair but that dimension sure is fun. Closer Speaking In Tongues sprawls into a jam, guitarist Dave Catching gets some slide going, Josh Homme smokes a fag… it’s all fair game as the party breathes its last.

Polly Glass

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.