Review by Ivor Whitten for MPM
When you finally get a chance to break your cabin fever, which has been going on for far too long, where do you go? To see Eagles of Death metal of course!
The Eagles of Death Metal have landed and are playing in the Limelight, Belfast along with their support, BONES UK and it may be a cold November evening outside, inside it’s a very different story.
It did feel a little strange being amongst so many people again but there was a solid feeling that tonight was going to be a good night. Buying drinks, catching up on chat and getting used to being sociable again.
And then, with little fuss, on came the three-piece band originally from Camden Town, London. BONES UK are singer/rhythm guitarist Rosie Bones, lead guitarist, Carmen Vandenberg, and drummer, Heavy. But it did not stay quiet for very long for their first visit to Belfast kicking off with “Creature”, which caught everyone’s attention.
Two guitars, one set of drums and no bass in sight, and yet the sound that was emanating from the stage was chunky and solid. Throughout their set they definitely owned the stage, and it was really difficult to tear yourself away from their performance – they were mesmerising.
Banging out songs like “Choke”, “Boys will be Girls”, “Beautiful is boring” “Girls can’t play guitar”, “Pretty Waste” and their famous cover of David Bowie’s “I’m afraid of Americans”. They are a difficult act to describe. Its kind of like Blondie went a bit more rock and blues. There was a bluesy undertone intermixed with punk, trance, vocals of a beautiful dirty angel and riffs and licks that would scare the devil. Their set was short and sweet but absolutely left an impression that will last a long, long time.
There was a short break before the headliners hit the stage. They started coming out to Sister Sledge “We are family” and to underline exactly how tonight was going to go down, Jesse Hughes came strutting on stage miming along to perfection. It was bizarre, it was funny, and it was on point with what many in the audience were expecting. If you never heard of the Eagles of Death metal before, then you need to rectify that immediately.
Kicking in with “Shasta Beast”, “Don’t Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!)” and “Anything ‘Cept the Truth” the audience was bowled over and were thoroughly enjoying the catchy, energetic and full-on tunes. They were sassy, sexy and full of fun – the right antidote to the past couple of years.
Jesse took a few moments to speak directly to the audience at one point expressing his love for Belfast, even pointing out that this was the band’s current keyboardist’s home town. He really did go emotional at a couple of points – and you could see it was genuine. That just cemented EODM even more in the hearts of everyone attending that night, this was less a band on tour stopping off in Belfast and more welcoming back some long-lost family members that you always loved.
On they went with “Complexity” a superb song that is pure 60’s pastiche, Jesse even showing off his 60’s dance moves. “Silverlake”, “Heart On”, and “Secret Plans” just continued to show that this is a real performing band that see the audience as an extension of their performance. On they rolled with the likes of “Cherry Cola”, “Flames Go Higher”, “Miss Alissa”, “Boys Bad News” and “Whorehoppin’ as the crowd rolled, shook, cheered and generally went wild.
The Eagles of Death Metal sound is difficult to describe outside of the general epithet of rock – there is definitely a Eagles sound mixed in with rockabilly, punk attitude and Rolling Stones presence. Each song feels iconic, and you just can’t stop moving to the riffs and rhythms.
Finishing the main set with “I Love You All the Time” “Now I’m a Fool” and “Moonage Daydream”, the second David Bowie cover of the night before the inevitable encore piece with Jesse in full Elvis mode with “Can’t Help Falling in Love” “I Like to Move in the Night” and “I Only Want You” and finishing of with “Speaking in Tongues” where they kept wonderfully going off script, even jamming in a bit of “Ace of Spades” in between.
Overall, these two bands were a perfect fit for an evening of pure, unadulterated entertainment. BONES UK were stunning (and if you are a fan of the anime/cartoon series ‘Arcane League of Legends’ then you will have heard BONES UK as their song “Dirty Little Animals” is part of the series).
They performed their hearts out and it was magical. What can really be said about Eagles of Death Metal?? Jesse’s moustache as ever dominates, but does not overshadow. The whole band look eclectic but perform as a single, tight unit. Their performance is a joy to behold and just perfectly hits the right buttons in order to provide exceptionally good music but in such an infectiously fun way.
Their UK tour continues into early December before resuming for a European tour in 2022. Do yourself a favour and go and see Eagles of Death Metal and BONES UK. You really won’t regret it.
Photography by Darren McVeigh for MPM