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JOHN PAUL JONES New Project

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Them Crooked Vultures: Festival Hall

January 24, 2010 by Andrew Watt

Hey Hey, My My.com.au

Let's pretend.

Last week I hired a DVD from my local store. It was the full first season of True Blood, but that's not important. When I opened the DVD up I was surprised to see a Ticketmaster concert ticket fall out. Actually two fell out, but one of them had been torn in half and it looked like the other half might have been used for a filter on a joint. I'm not sure what made me think that but I just did.

Anyway, I thought that maybe the previous hirer of the DVD might have accidentally left the concert ticket in the DVD case, and seeing as it was for a concert that hadn't happened yet I thought I should try to find out who it belonged to. So I called the video store. The dude at the store wasn't too keen on going into the computer to try and trace the history of the rental (he said something about The Privacy Act) so he suggested that maybe I should just keep the ticket.

"Who's it for", he asked.

I picked up the ticket and read " Them Crooked Vultures, Festival Hall, Jan 23"

"Aw man, you so should keep it", said the dude.

Anyway January 23rd rolled around and I found myself at a loose end. I remembered the ticket. It was priced at $103, so it seemed a waste for it to go unused. So I thought "what the hell", I'd go and see the show – it would be interesting to see a band without knowing who they were or what their background was or having heard any of their hits. Assuming they had hits.

Plus it would be nostalgic to go and see a concert at Festival Hall.

I have a theory that you can judge a band by the t-shirts their audience wears.

The first ten t-shirts I saw upon arriving at the show were as follows : White Stripes, Hawkwind, Helmet, Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses, Tool, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against The Machine, Queens of The Stone Age.

Leaving aside the Dylan shirt I think it was fair to assume that Them Crooked Vultures were a rock band.

I was right – but they weren't just a rock band, they turned out to be a really great rock band.

There wasn't a bad song all night – I assumed that they must have had quite a few albums because they appeared to have a lot of material to chose from. But at one stage the lead singer introduced a song called Highway One saying "this ones not on the record". I asked the bloke next to me, who was wearing a Queen t-shirt, "how many albums do these guys have?" He looked at me kinda strange. "Just one, unless you count their other bands," he smirked.

So Them Crooked Vultures played for almost an hour and a half and the crowd loved every second of it. They are a strange looking quartet. The lead singer doesn't look like a rock star at all, in fact he looks more like a ex-footballer. But he's a fantastic singer who mixes powerful vocal moments in with some remarkably pure falsetto singing and some mannered vocal work that reminded me of Gary Numan (strangely enough). He was really interesting and his guitar playing which he shared with the second guitarist was really versatile and high quality. He played like a stadium rock guitarist trading in big riffs at some moments and then he'd offer up some very clever prog-rock kinda soloing in others. The Hawkwind t-shirt bloke was into it.

The other guitarist, who also played some keyboards didn't seem to get as big a reaction from the audience as the other three members and I cant work out why, because he was equally as important to the overall sound. This band was very much a quartet of very good rock musicians all playing for each other and for the songs. There was no posing, little indulgence and great subtlety to go with the brutal power on display. Maybe the bald guy was a new member or something – but I'm tipping that the bands fans will recognise his importance pretty soon.

The drummer was awesome. Rarely have I seen a rock drummer so content with his place in the band. Some drummers you see look like they want to be a singer or the guitarist but here was a guy who was utterly immersed in the role he played anchoring some massive grooves and providing some breathtaking heavy rock playing. He was a masterful rock drummer and you just couldn't imagine him doing anything else. He must be rated highly by the band because it's the first time I've seen a drummer have a crew member devoted to the role of swinging a boom mic into place every time it was needed for the drummer to contribute backing vocals.

He combined with a bass player who was equally superb. This guy had obviously been around and even though he looked like he was probably in his early forties he was obviously well in sync with his younger band mates. What a great player though – he played everything from slide bass, to classical piano to one of those 80's looking "keytars" to a variety of basses and on every instrument he seemed to bring an almost orchestral perspective to the song. His playing was deeply hued and soulful and yet he remained true to the rock core of the songs. And he seemed to be having a great time – smiling at both his bandmates and the audience constantly.

Them Crooked Vultures are a unique band – there's no doubt that they are influenced by some of the truly classic rock bands like Zeppelin, Cream and (in some moments) Blue Oyster Cult but they also play music that has been informed by the alternative rock of the 90's. I've probably never seen a band that merges these two strains of rock so successfully which, when you think about it, is kinda surprising as they are probably more complementary than they have been previously considered. And they did it completely without irony. Whoever drew up the blueprint for this band was a real rock music purist and visionary. When it all came together as on the shows closer it was a force of monumental power and sheer rock music excellence.

At the end of the concert I turned to a bloke in a Them Crooked Vultures t-shirt. "What did you think?" I asked.

"Mate, even better than the record" he replied.

I left thinking how good it was to have seen a show without any pre-conceptions.

http://www.heyheymym...-festival-hall/

Edited by SteveAJones

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The BEST take on TCV in the hundreds of articles on them posted so far! LOVED it!

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^^ Very cool assessment from a blind-eye perspective. Don't we all wish we could just stumble upon something in that manner?! Thanks for posting SAJ. B)

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Heard TCV has been booked to play the Donnington Festival. ACDC and STP have been booked and Metallica and Van Halen are rumored to be performing as well.

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Heard TCV has been booked to play the Donnington Festival. ACDC and STP have been booked and Metallica and Van Halen are rumored to be performing as well.

The following acts are slated to appear at this year's event:

AC/DC

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS

THEM CROOKED VULTURES

DEFTONES

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

MEGADETH

MOTÖRHEAD

WOLFMOTHER

VOLBEAT

More acts will be announced soon.

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I'll be heading off to see TCV and especially JPJ at the Horden Pavilion in about 3 hours.

Dinner with a few beers then a rollup or two!

The "Pavlova", sold out and packed to the rafters on a hot summers night, can't wait.

Hopefully catch up with S2Z and Loads.

Anyone else be there?

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I may be late on this but i recently heard that Paul Mccartney tried to be the bass player for TCV but Dave Grohl turned him down.Saying we already got JPJ.

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Them Crooked Vultures to Play Download Festival in Donington Park, Derby, England

AC/DC will headline the Download rock and heavy metal festival, organisers have announced. The veteran Australian rock band will appear for the fourth time at the event, which takes place at Donington Park in Derby from 11-13

June. They played in 1981 at the second Monsters of Rock festival, which was Download's predecessor, followed by performances in 1984 and 1991.

Download, which books only rock and metal acts and caters for the moshing masses, will increase its capacity this year, making it the biggest UK festival after Glastonbury. Helping to celebrate its 30th year will be Them Crooked Vultures, Motörhead and Megadeth, as well as Stone Temple Pilots performing their first UK show since they reunited in 2008.

Festival co-founders Maurice Jones and Paul Loasby originally created a day-long summer festival dedicated to rock and heavy metal bands in 1980, and it remains the only major British festival dedicated to hard rock. Loasby said this year's celebration would be a fitting tribute to Jones, who died last year.

"Download 2010 will be one for the history books. It will see the return of the world's greatest rock band to the most legendary and spiritual home of rock," he said.

"We have been pushing for this moment for many years, but for this to become reality alongside the likes of Them Crooked Vultures, Motörhead and Megadeth is the best 30th anniversary of the site we could have dreamed of."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/25/acdc-headlines-download-festival

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Crowd feasts on Them Crooked Vultures

DANIEL NANCARROW

Brisbane Times

January 26, 2010

201001BrisbaneMichaelClayton-JonesB.jpg

Rock god ... Them Crooked Vultures' bass player John Paul Jones. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

It's not often you see a rock god in the flesh, let alone three - each with varying claims to rock divinity - bashing it out on one stage.

But Them Crooked Vultures isn't your average band. They're an all-star fusion of baby boomer bassist, gen-X drummer and modern day frontman who combine to form a rumbling, thunderous, timeless whole.

Singer/guitarist Josh Homme greets the crowd with a simple mission statement, which proves an acknowledgment of the powerful rhythm section behind him.

"Ready to get sweaty? We're Them Crooked Vultures and we came to make you dance," he exclaims before launching into what seems like the entirety of the supergroup's debut record, each track extended by a lot of dirty, sweaty, bass-heavy jamming.

Early in the set, Homme introduces the band and its no surprise the screams for John Paul Jones drown out those for himself, stage guitarist Alain Johannes and Dave Grohl. But the sight of a Led Zeppelin member tends to do that. There are enough Zeppelin shirts in the crowd to start another merchandise stand.

Jones doesn't disappoint his followers, his bass providing the unmistakable driving force of the band. But his moments on mandolin, organ and keytar bring a wide smile to a Zep-fan's face.

Still, Grohl has an abundance of admirers, a point made by a pair of fans at the front of stage screaming his name between songs.

"They love you Dave," Homme says to the impossibly affable drummer, "These two love you." To which Grohl gives a modest shrug of the shoulders before getting back to doing what he does best behind the drum kit.

For all the big name connections, this band provide much more than an opportunity to star spot. They manage to produce a dense and groove-laden form of stoner rock, even more thrilling than their record.

And they keep Brisbane's Riverstage crowd cheering with wave after wave of beefy jams.

Homme isn't blind to the fact much of the band's appeal hangs on the Vultures' past glories, and delivers a typically self-deprecating summation of the group's distinguished musical histories.

"Jones was in Zeppelin. Dave was in Nirvana. And me and Al had sex together."

Nice try, Josh. Tonight, that proves to be selling you all short.

http://www.brisbanet...00126-mvli.html

Edited by SteveAJones

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Program Details: Campbell Live with host John Campbell (7pm), Channel 3, New Zealand, January 26, 2010

"...the country was just full of Morris Oxfords..." - John Paul Jones

1971 Morris Oxford:

1971MorrisOxford1.jpg

-------------------------------------------

JPJ Memory Jogger for New Zealand '72:

Feb 24: Flight arrival from Sydney.

Checked-in to the White Heron Hotel on 138 St. Stephens Avenue in Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand.

Feb 25: Western Springs Stadium in Auckland.

Afterward Led Zeppelin went to a local strip club for a drink and were followed back to the hotel by a stripper.

Feb 26: Flight departure for Sydney.

More New Zealand '72 hi-jinks here: http://ledzeppelin.c...ebruary-25-1972

Edited by SteveAJones

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Here is my amateurish hack review of the first Sydney show with a u tube link: My link

Absolute fabulosity. Can't wait for a second album.

Thought that was a cracking review myself, especially compared to some of the others. No "clever" attitude, just an analysis of the show. Glad you enjoyed it--so did I! (Back in December.)

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Here is my amateurish hack review of the first Sydney show with a u tube link: My link

Absolute fabulosity. Can't wait for a second album.

that's a great bit of writing there, refugeenius! i can't do better than that, so i wont really try.

loads eppelin and i were there right in front of jonesy, 5 rows back. first time in the mosh pit for me! lol. i stood it for 3 songs, then i'm afraid i had to move back to about the 20th row ( ah, i am getting old! ). but, i actually had a better view from there anyway.

the stand out for me was the fact that all the songs sounded just like the record. i was thinking it would lack in the back up vocal area, but it didn't.

i loved the fact that josh wished us a happy australia day, and he said that he loved us. and what about those knickers that got thrown onto the stage! who were they intended for? well, josh wiped his brow with them anyway, haha.

and i was surprized that dave didn't speak to the crowd at all, i thought he was the type to do that? ( i wasn't expecting jonesy to say anything tho! )

and again jonesy got the loudest roar from the crowd during introductions. which is so great, seeing that i reckon the crowd was about 75% 16 - 25 year olds.

it was a great night, tho too short and waaaaay to hot for my liking. the band must have been swealtering up there.

in short, if you get the chance to see them, DO!!!

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I've finally recovered!

First of all it was Australia Day our national holiday celebrations and it was HOT and everyone was either on the beach or at barbies at home to festivals and so on!

After driving into Sydney from home and with NO traffic we got there in about 40 minutes and went straight to the pub after imbibing a couple of roll ups!

Sunk a few schooies and from our vantage point we could see the crowd started filling and waiting for the gates to open at 7.00pm, unfortunately we missed the first band, The Art.

Earlier in the week I had a hassle because my mate who was originally going pulled out and I thought I was going to stuck with a ticket.

As it turned out a friend of a friend bought it and we went together neither of us having met before, he is 20 years younger than me.

The show was sold out the capacity was 5500 give or take and pcked in pretty tight.

We ventured down the front or as it's known nowadays, the mosh pit.

Standing in the crowd and it was buzzing, the bulk of the audience were here for as one bloke said, "Dave's new thing" with John Paul Jones.

I said to the young bloke (24-25) next to me "John Paul Jones is a fuckin' legend" and he looked at the old man looking at him and he said "how long has it been since you saw him last?

Almost 38 years I told him.

We started talkling about what music we were into etc. and this other kid says to me "you're one of the originals, we'll look after ya!"

Then they pumped a couple of roll ups into me and I was rockin'!

The band came on at 9.00pm sharp and Josh said we're Them Crooked Vultures and we've come to have some fun!

Then they ripped into Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I with Jonesy on THAT slide guitar!

I lasted another 2 songs and moved to the back (because being a short arse I couldn't see much (no video screens) where I found an amazing seat with a good view and balanced sound.

I took a few photos onmy phone but it died and I hope to post them soon (when I figure out how to download them).

Dave was thrashing around his kit with outstanding accuracy and timing.

Josh was doing the frontman thing and the riffs kept coming and his solos were brilliant if not flashy.

Meanwhile Alain was rock solid, changing instruments and adding that little something extra that, after hearing the album played live I feel was slightly missing from the album.

Then there was Jonesy.

What can I say?

Pumping out those bass lines that the "youngen's" were totally amazed with and JPJ kept up the frenetic pace of the show until he played a nice mellow keyboard thing that the first few notes sounded vaguely like the beginning of In The Light.

They proceeded to play extended versions of all the album tracks, Highway One and at least one "new thing".

The set list was the same as every other one that I've read on this Oz/NZ tour and finished about 10.45pm.

The band was tighter than a fish's arsehole and I came away exhausted and I was only watching and listening!

We walked around to the stage door area but it was not to be.

I was so pumped after the show and Anthony couldn't believe what he had just witnessed and yet it all ended much too soon!

Hope to see them back again with more material.

I would've gone again tonight but I'm satisfied with what I got to see.

The only disappointment was I never got to catch up with S2Z and Loads, hopefully next time.

Them Crooked Vultures are not to be missed.

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that's a great bit of writing there, refugeenius! i can't do better than that, so i wont really try.

loads eppelin and i were there right in front of jonesy, 5 rows back. first time in the mosh pit for me! lol. i stood it for 3 songs, then i'm afraid i had to move back to about the 20th row ( ah, i am getting old! ). but, i actually had a better view from there anyway.

the stand out for me was the fact that all the songs sounded just like the record. i was thinking it would lack in the back up vocal area, but it didn't.

i loved the fact that josh wished us a happy australia day, and he said that he loved us. and what about those knickers that got thrown onto the stage! who were they intended for? well, josh wiped his brow with them anyway, haha.

and i was surprized that dave didn't speak to the crowd at all, i thought he was the type to do that? ( i wasn't expecting jonesy to say anything tho! )

and again jonesy got the loudest roar from the crowd during introductions. which is so great, seeing that i reckon the crowd was about 75% 16 - 25 year olds.

it was a great night, tho too short and waaaaay to hot for my liking. the band must have been swealtering up there.

in short, if you get the chance to see them, DO!!!

Glad the two of you enjoyed the show Slave smile.gif You too Reg wave.gif

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Them Crooked Vultures play it for fun

Josh Robertson

January 27, 2010

JOHN Paul Jones toured Australia with Led Zeppelin in 1972. His current bandmate Josh Homme was born a year later. Them Crooked Vultures are more than an unlikely cross-generational rock band, of course.

Curated by Dave Grohl in his first full-time drumming role in years, they're like some rock fans' drunken fantasy made real.

Time on the road, playing to audiences of wider age ranges than usual, seems to have reinforced the notion this group was a good idea. They're already saying they need more songs and have decided to book another stint in the studio.

A well-appointed corner of Brisbane's Stamford Hotel, two hours before a Riverstage show, finds a burly Homme and a florid-faced Grohl playing the charming buffoons to Jones's cool, understated elder statesman.

Homme fusses over a checkered shirt of Jones's he says is his "favourite".

He describes how Jones and he bonded musically more and more.

"The darker it got, the more esoteric and courageously strange it got. Because, it turns out, Jones is a weird guy," he says.

"It's true," Grohl adds.

Jones smiles: "Thank you."

Jones gets the biggest cheers live. Grohl, ex-Nirvana, is a close second.

But it's Homme, of the widely respected but lesser known Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, who shouldered a key role in writing the Vultures' self-titled album.

"Yeah – the hard part," he quips.

When it's suggested the album has echoes of Zeppelin throughout, Jones gasps "Ahhh", pointing a finger at Homme, the jokester, in delight. Homme goes on to claim there was a period of a few days where he was stuck in Zep-world and everything he wrote was "a single-note riff".

But the consensus about the Zeppelin echoes is, well, that's Jones.

Did the 64-year-old ever foresee a second act in a career as a touring rock musician, a full 30 years after the end of his incomparable English band?

"Not really. No, not at all," he says.

"I mean, I might have wished it but didn't really foresee it. But I really missed playing on stage, with playing with great musicians and being excited every night. And making exciting music again."

Jones, the least garrulous of the trio, pays tribute to his bandmates with short but weighty compliments.

The thing about Homme, he offers, is "not many people can do much different with the blues".

"And he does – the blues are fresh again," he says simply.

Grohl notes this was the very line Homme fed him at the project's genesis.

"Well, that's the first thing he said, 'Let's do this project, I have a new version of the blues'. I'm like, 'Oh really?'," he laughs.

Homme downplays all this. "What I always hope to bring to the table is to remind everyone that stupid, although dangerous, is a lot of fun. It's great to play dumb. I don't really have a choice."

Jokes aside, Homme really does plumb a gothic, vaguely satanic set of scales that Jones also likes to tap into.

"It turns out that we both have a love of that beauty in that darkness," Homme says.

And what would John Henry Bonham, the freakishly talented drummer whose riser Jones used to share, make of Grohl's work on the skins? "He'd love it," Jones says.

"He'd be, 'Yeah. Swing. Drive. Modest'."

High praise indeed, except the last bit has Grohl perplexed.

"Where'd that come from?" he says.

Grohl regards his drumming with Them Crooked Vultures as his best-ever.

"It's just the most fun for me because it's the most groove-oriented stuff I've ever done," he says.

"As a drummer, you know it's fun to play really heavy, angular, fast, aggressive music.

"But this band's different because when John and I, when we'd play together, it was like, it would have more swing. You could dance to it and then if we need to, well . . . dig in and f---ing blast ass, you know."

With Grohl out front of the Foo Fighters so long and off the drums so long, he came to this "leaning on the gate", Homme says.

"That's what we called it in Queens. It's like when you deliberately build up an anxiety. This is that kind of opening up of floodgates and sort of tearing out at you."

The Brisbane show later reveals a band whose chops and thirst for variation are keen.

A song not on their record, Highway One – maybe one of the new jams they want to get down on tape – crops up mid-set.

It starts with spooky incidental music, then bursts into a racing, bouncy riff before landing in an altogether sunnier, jazzier place.

Yes, there are echoes of Zeppelin but also the Doors, Cream and even Bowie.

It's rock 'n' roll. At the end of it, Homme baits the home crowd with a dead-on copy of an Australian accent: "Brisbane, how ya goin'?"

Someone yells abuse, walking into the trap set by the man with the mic.

"Takes more than that to get me going, boy," Homme says.

"Takes more than that to get your mom going, too. A lot more."

Like he says: Stupid. Dangerous. Fun.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26642286-5003421,00.html

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Thanks for the reviews Slave to Zep and Reggie! Sounds like a great time, happy you got to see them although too bad you didn't get to meet up this time :wave:

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Great reviews of the first Sydney show Reggie, Slave to Zep and refugeenius. Spot on too. It was awesome from start to finish. All four guys on stage seemed to be enjoying it nearly as much as the crowd. It was loud, but not ear-busting, and the atmosphere was great. Highlight for me, apart from the smile on S2Z's face when JPJ came out on stage 10 metres in front of us :D , was probably Spinning in Daffodils. :)

Pity we didn't catch up with you Reggie, S2Z and I made it to the Bat and Ball after the show, but it was already closed and you must've gone. Ah well, next time!

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I liked that story by "Josh."

TCV seem to be getting along great, with no signs of stopping. :cheer:

I'm glad Grohl is happy drumming....his best talent...IMO. :drumz:

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Great reviews of the first Sydney show Reggie, Slave to Zep and refugeenius. Spot on too. It was awesome from start to finish. All four guys on stage seemed to be enjoying it nearly as much as the crowd. It was loud, but not ear-busting, and the atmosphere was great. Highlight for me, apart from the smile on S2Z's face when JPJ came out on stage 10 metres in front of us :D , was probably Spinning in Daffodils. :)

Pity we didn't catch up with you Reggie, S2Z and I made it to the Bat and Ball after the show, but it was already closed and you must've gone. Ah well, next time!

i don't know what you are talking about! ..... :P

one thing i forgot to say about the gig, was that it wasn't anywhere near as loud as i was expoecting. actually the volume was just right, but i had read reviews that said it was VERY loud, so i nearly bought some earplugs to use. we didn't need them at all.

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