Live Reviews

Foo Fighters live at the House of Vans London

The Holy Shits aka Foo Fighters
Live at the House Of Vans, London
September 11th


I love Dave Grohl. Mission Impossible. Scream. DC Hardcore. Dain Bramage. Nirvana. Probot. Sound City. I USED to love the Foo Fighters. When that first album came out, we were so desperate for at least some kind of continuation after the brutal, shocking end of Nirvana and Grohl made us smile again, with Pat Smear grinning beside him like a Cheshire cat and a batch of superb, high-energy melodic rock songs to win us over. That first Reading Festival set in 1995, the chaos in the tent, those great early singles…then Grohl steadily slipped into a far safer mainstream stadium/radio rock path and the excitement waned. You can’t blame him, he’s an incredibly talented melodic rock song writer but for those of us raised on 80s punk and discordant 90s noise, it was a path that just didn’t excite.

So I stopped paying attention. At least, I thought I did. If I did then how the hell do I know pretty much every song of the entire two-hour plus set they play tonight? The Foo Fighters are in town, ahead of a forthcoming release of their new album, to fire up their cylinders and get back into live touring mode with a batch of ‘intimate’ shows (playing under the name The Holy Shits!) and tonight, under the tunnels of Waterloo, they power through a set packed full of hits and you realise that yes, you know every song because they’re great.

You’d have to be a pretty joyless fucker not to enjoy this. Sure, I have no real desire to watch the Foo Fighters play in a stadium, but the chance to see them live in a venue this size couldn’t be passed up. And they don’t disappoint. For a start, the sound is incredible, an amazing achievement considering the booming acoustics of the brick tunnels, and the songs come so thick and fast, high-energy, Pat Smear still cool as fuck (he was in in THE GERMS FOR FUCKS SAKE!), Taylor Hawkins blazing on the drums (how anyone can have the nerve to play drums behind Dave Grohl, I have no idea but this guy pulls it off) and they play ‘This Is The Call’ and ‘For All The Cows’ from that first album and I fall in love with it all over again. They play all of the hits. You know them, I don’t need to list them. This is a crowd pleasing set. Nice guy Dave wants to please.

I leave smiling and sweaty. I think I just fell in love with the Foo Fighters all over again, just for the night. A one night stand.

Word: James Sherry
Ph: Nathan Gallagher