Queens of the Stone Age review

Thomas Whitehead spent Saturday in London with rock and roll's finest

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 1st Aug 2018.
Originally published: 3rd Jul 2018

Image: Queens of the Stone Age (source)

With the heat of the UK summer in full flow there really couldn’t be a better time to be enjoying world class in an outdoor setting. With our country's wealth of beautiful outdoor landscapes it seems almost essential that we put them all to full use. 

Finsbury Park in London has been host to a number of concerts and a recent series of live events have included Liam Gallagher, Wolf Alice, and Loyle Carner. We were on hand to enjoy the latest lineup and with hats and sunscreen in hand we headed to see headliners Queens of the Stone Age lead a bill of diverse artists. 

As we strolled up to Finsbury Park a crowd of young and old strutted along in high spirits and with cold cans in hand. We soon approached the entrance and were into the main stage area. 

Deap Valley were kicking off the day in fine fashion and the American rock duo blared out the heavy riffs and screeching vocals on songs like ‘Baby I Call Hell’. Their act perfectly set the tone for a steaming day of rock n roll.

After a much-needed visit to the beer tent we headed over to the second stage where Bombino was already in full flow. The Nigerian artist was joined on stage by a band of impressively dressed men and their sound was probably best described as prog-rock tinged funk, and they soon had the crowd, and us, up and dancing.

Next up were the Scandinavian garage punk outfit, The Hives. They dominated the main stage fully suited in black and white as they collided through their catchy hits like ‘Tick tick boom’. Lead singer, Per Almqvist was in fine form and he clearly enjoyed the day and he spoke to the crowd throughout their set.

Changing up the pace and sound of the day was acclaimed hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. Made up of Killer Mike and El-P, the American act have won many plaudits and fans from their blistering sound, and they displayed this ability with aplomb in the Finsbury Park sunshine. Crowd pleasing anthems like ‘Oh My Darling Don’t Cry’ even had some of the days parents nodding their heads. 

Another aspect to the duo's popularity is their stance on female empowerment and togetherness, and during their set they took time to call out the inequality given to women.

Prior to the headliners was to be one of the days highlights. The godfather of punk, Iggy Pop, was on hand to keep the punk flame alive. The bronze-chested performer has become synonymous for his cutting edge music and his sheer individuality.

The 71-year old might be heading towards the end of his career but he head banged and lampooned his body around the stage. The musician had the crowd wrapped around his palm and he pointed his mic to the audience who sung along to his classic hits including ‘The Passenger’ and ‘Lust For Life’. By the time he left the stage the entire London crowd were full Iggy converts.

The big finale was now here and the Queens of the Stone Age entered the stage to the theme tune from a Clockwork Orange. Led by frontman Josh Homme they cascaded into hits like ‘Go With The Flow’ and ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’.

As the night rolled over the Finsbury Park audience Homme displayed his true swagger as a rock n roll frontman and coolly strummed his guitar with cigarette placed firmly in his mouth. The performance of ‘Songs for the Dead’ and ‘Songs for the Deaf’ were a personal highlight and topped off a blistering performance by the QOTSA band.

Following this exemplary rock n roll rendition we carried our tired bodies off into the night and air-guitared our way home on a wave of musical appreciation.