Eagles Of Death Metal/White Miles/Feverist - Bristol, O2 Academy - 2nd November 2015 Print E-mail
Written by Johnny H   
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 03:00



This review was written before the tragic events that occurred in Paris on the 13th of November 2015.


“I reckon this lot are a novelty band”. Well, Mrs H certainly left it late in the day to deliver this hammer blow critique of Jesse Hughes’ pride and joy, Eagles Of Death Metal. So late in fact we were actually within spitting distance of Bristol’s O2 Academy and it was with this rather caustic barb still firmly rooted in my mind and with posters for upcoming shows by the likes of The Darkness and Vintage Trouble all catching my eye that I started to doubt my initial judgment, that Jesse Hughes’ rather magical troupe are anything but a…”novelty.”




There’s certainly enough top knots and excessive facial hair on show early doors here tonight to back up my other half’s most cruel of accusations though, and I have to endure two supports tonight before I can see if I was right all along. To be honest both simply prolong my agony, offering nothing other than the odd musical distraction here and there to get me out of my mental turmoil. Feverist, who are up first tonight, are an art rock mob from London who actually look far cooler than they sound, their singer keyboardist cutting a kind of Tom Hardy unkempt kind of cool figure behind the mic. As for the music, in places they kind of remind me of latter day U2 or at their best a poppier Turbowolf whilst also having more than just a touch of the Jeff Buckleys about them too. The only problem being, I came away not remembering any of their songs other than set closer ‘Criminal Mastermind’. White Miles on the other hand are another one of those two piece bands that seem to be all the rage these days, especially with tonight’s crowd. Featuring the hugely charismatic Medina on vocals and guitar (she manages to out Keef Keef with some of her low slung six string stage moves) and Lofi on drums once again here I find myself kind of enjoying their set but not remembering a single song they played. In fact the only thing I can remember other than their name (which I cheated and scribbled down ahead of the review) is that they come from Mada-who-ha. I wonder if they know the penguins. The men with way too much facial hair said “yeah” to both these bands…that in itself should speak volumes.


White Miles


By the time Eagles Of Death Metal take to the stage via a err whacky part cover/part intro tape of Pilot’s ‘Magic’ there is hardly space to breathe on the dancefloor, and as soon as ‘Bad Dream Mama’ gets things off and running proper the air is immediately filled with sickly sweet beer rain that at the prices in here makes me wonder if the associated student loans that helped fund this spontaneous deluge will ever get paid off. ‘Don’t Speak (I Came To Make A Bang)’ quickly follows and Hughes addresses the crowd for the first time - his quip about the night already being “moustache lickingly good” is delivered with consummate ease.


‘Complexity’ is up next, the first track from the Eagles… rather spiffing new album ‘Zipper Down’ and it’s anything but complex, the simple riff commanding everyone to shake their ass, and in freeing himself from his guitar for the first time tonight Hughes decides to treat us to some of the best dancing you’ll see this side of Giovanni Ribisi’s Donny in the Ted movies.


From the instant surge of ‘Kiss The Devil’ to the surftastic ‘Silverlake (K.S.F.O.M)’ the crowd are totally in the hands of Hughes and his six string sidekick Dave Catching, and whilst the likes of ‘Whorehoppin’ (Shit Goddam)’ and the excellent ‘Oh Girl’ (which gets played here for the very first time) might be accused of being derivatives of other bands, in the hands of this pair they turn into some of the most infectious fun times you’ll have anywhere on planet earth right now.




Having appeared on TFI Friday just a few days earlier alongside Duran Duran, there is of course the band’s very own unique take on their classic ‘Save A Prayer’ slotted in towards the end of the night, and perhaps I’m showing my age here, but it felt really odd being the person seemingly able to singalong to every word of this one. Perhaps I wasn’t being cool enough or whatever it is the Brian Blessed fan club call it, but everyone and I do mean everyone was soon screaming at the top of their voices for the manic set closer ‘I Want You So Hard (Boys Bad News)’. It’s at this point for me the night should have ended, because unlike the band Eagles Of Death Metal will always ultimately get compared to, live these boys don’t jam the fuck out of otherwise great songs and send everyone into a coma in the process, they just let the music do the talking….well that is until they return for a five song encore and in the process they do end up leaving the scent of desert (sessions) air in my nostrils.


Returning to that initial conundrum my wife left me with regarding the accusation that Eagles Of Death Metal could be considered a novelty band, then yeah I guess they could, but only in the same sense that KISS, The Rolling Stones or ZZ Top might be, and that never hampered their careers any did it. I reckon Mrs H was just sour because her favourite ginger Mr. Josh Homme was nowhere to be seen. That small matter aside certainly didn’t stop Eagles Of Death Metal from delivering a hugely entertaining show, and ponderous encore aside, I left here tonight feeling hugely impressed.


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