Eagles of Death Metal, The Virginmarys & Jackson Firebird, O2 Academy Islington, 21.8.12

There is always a happy atmosphere around Eagles of Death Metal shows, and the gig at the Angel Academy (as the o2 in Islington is known to locals and regulars) was no exception. All the early queuers were given free alcohol before the show by frontman Jesse Hughes and his girlfriend Tuesday, and although I’m aware (and I’m sure many readers are aware too) that bands are given lots & lots of free booze (and some of Eagles of Death Metal don’t drink!), it was still a kind gesture and much appreciated by those who had a cheeky can or two under the glaring eyes of the two or three security cameras in the area.

Inside the cheerful atmosphere continued as the opening act of the night, the Australian duo Jackson Firebird, warmed up the crowd with their energetic garage rock. The guitar/vocal and drums/vocal began with a throbbing beat, with the use of a box/lid centre stage as a percussive tool. Why use a box when there is a perfectly good drum kit right behind you? Well, it added to the overall affect of their down to earth, to the roots, their groove filled sound. If you dont see this band the next time they come over, you will be missing out!

Second act of the night was The Virginmarys. I’ve heard lots of great things about this band, they seem to be on their way up, but I’m sad to say I was a bit underwhelmed. These guys have supported some noticeable names in the past, so I was expecting something a bit in your face, but they didn’t provide in that department. There was some very British swearing and a lot of noisy tracks, but nothing seemed to stand out. A few people in the audience were intrigued by sight of a gong next to the kit, but when it was played it hardly added any significant affect to the music at all and was lost in the sea of loud guitars.
eagles of death metalThe venue was pretty much packed by the time Eagles of Death Metal took to the stage (it was a sell out show and lots of fans had to fork out extra for tickets from touts outside or eBay). The set was a mixture of tonnes of Eagles hits and favourites, a bit of Boots Electric and a few covers for Jesse Hughes’ idols.

From the very first note of opener Bad Dream Mama, Eagles had owned the crowd. Every cheer and “Amen!” was delivered on time and without question. Even if you aren’t religious in any shape or form you’ll be buying into what was being preached…good time rocknroll with hints of the Californian sun and the Bible Belt’s most exaggerated preacher sermons thrown in for good measure.

The encore of the show featured a very special guest in the form of Rat Scabies, legendary drummer of The Damned, for a cover of New Rose. Quite a nice surprise for any punk fan don’t you think? If that isn’t your cup of tea, Jesse also did a solo cover of the Rolling Stones classic of “Brown Sugar” in dedication to the band Green Day (who were also there on the day).

From your Whorehoppin’ to your Secret Plans, I’m sure Eagles could do no wrong – every song encited a frenzy of dancing and plenty of singing from the audience, Eagles are 100% good time music thats for sure.