Ya boi had a cracker of weekend, as you’d expect from a bigboi who had some world-class drag and world-class rock-and-or-frackin’-roll within the space of 48 hours.
Indeed, through a miracle of booking, I went to see my favourite drag queen, Jinkx Monsoon, in her cabaret show, The Vaudevillians, at Bath Komedia and then, the next night, saw my favourite band of the moment Queens Of The Stone Age at their headlining show at London’s Wembley Arena — what a weekend. So, to break up the MMMs and still allow me to put off writing proper reviews and top tens (you’re very much welcome), I thought I’d document/slightly review these experiences.
Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales in The Vaudevillians (Komedia, Bath)
Over the summer, I reaaaaaaallly properly immersed myself in the admittedly mainstream face of drag culture with repeated and binged viewings of RuPaul’s Drag Race and, after watching season five, winner Jinkx Monsoon captured my attention and cold heart with their irreverent humour and multi-faceted talent. So, at the news that they would be bringing her award-winning off-Broadway cabaret show to my goddamn hometown, I was barely gonna say no, was I?
While I was at first a little wary of the fact that it was a cabaret, over a comedy show, at first, what I watched was little less than technical perfection, with an abundance of genuinely, side-splittingly funny moments and brilliantly rehearsed, exceptionally performed cover songs (sorry, UHHH-riginal music), all with the undeniable charm one associates with vaudeville. Jinkx was particularly perfect (though I have major respect for Major Scales, who was a proper, proper showman) but, considering that they touched my hair and I basically stopped living, that’s a conclusion we should expect.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains Tour (SSE Wembley Arena, London)
But the real fun was only just beginning. Anyone who knows me knows I love me some QOTSA, I’ve written about them more than enough times here, gaddammit, so I think it’s all documented and accounted for. With the release of their cracking new album Villains, Queens set sail upon the UK shores and anchoring up at Wembley Arena to kick off the tour. This, evidently, meant that they were full of juice because they ripped through a massive 21 song setlist, featuring 4/6 of my favourite QOTSA songs, with a light show and a stage presence for the ages.
Kicking off with …Like Clockwork favourite If I Had A Tail, which segued straight into Rated R classic Monsters In The Parasol, the band showed right from the get-go that they were ready to embrace their entire catalogue, quickly brushing off any sleepy dust in the crowd’s eyes after underwhelming opener BRONCHO. Josh introduced the band to us, as if we needed it (I didn’t anyway), and claimed they would give us “a night we’ll never remember”. From there, we got classic after classic, with some choice Villains cuts like Feet Don’t Fail Me and The Evil Has Landed in between, including a performance of I Appear Missing that had me blown away. There was no song played where I wasn’t on my feet and singing my throat sore.
After exploding with Go With The Flow, my favourite QOTSA track, the band had said their goodbyes. Although of course they didn’t because they had a goddamn encore ya dummy, a three-song one at that. As the lights went back up, I heard the intro I had only dreamt of hearing, the sour guitar strikes of Head Like A Haunted House, a song that has had me in an all-encompassing ice-grip all year. We then kicked into a special version of Feel Good Hit Of Summer, which included vocal bites of RHCP’s Give It Away and Foo Fighters’ Everlong; I was in heaven. Finally, I, as a drummer, got to witness my favourite drum part of all time in A Song For The Dead‘s mind-blowing intro. As I left the arena, t-shirts and poster underarm, I felt fulfilled, mind-blown, ecstatic and a little bit tipsy. A night I will always remember, despite what Josh said at the start.
So, indeedly do, as I said, a cracker of a weekend. Are any of you lot checking out these acts (let’s face it, I’m talking about QOTSA here)? Were any of you at the show?!?!?!?! Did you recognise me?!? I’mma assume yes, and thank you for not disturbing me for autographs, selfies or sexual favours, it was much appreciated.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations