Thursday, July 29, 2010

Year-long Them Crooked Vultures stint to conclude this weekend

Them Crooked Vultures Twitter entry
Shortly after the arrival of Them Crooked Vultures in Japan, the band sent a picture to its fan base around the world. It was a photo of a truck in downtown Tokyo promoting the group's Wednesday night show there.

Their gig at the Shibuya-AX concert hall is the first of two shows the group will have played in Japan, with the second to take place Friday. That engagement is for the opening night of the three-day Fuji Rock Festival, with a scheduled 70-minute Them Crooked Vultures set immediately preceding the night's top act, Muse.

After that show, band members John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme will be going their separate ways for the foreseeable future. With Grohl set to work again with the Foo Fighters on a new album, and with Homme already gearing up for some tour dates with his mainstay band Queens of the Stone Age, the supergroup ends what amounted to a full year of club dates, festival crowds, TV appearances and arena shows.

John Paul Jones plays his No. 1
bass guitar built by Hugh Manson.
All of those live gigs took place only after the secret of the band's existence was made known en masse one year ago next week. Considerable efforts ensured that all rehearsal and recording sessions, with the fresh pots that accompanied them, all took place in private away from the public's watchful and critical eye. The major players saw fit not to reveal their collaboration in advance so as to evade prejudices. Sure, not all reviews of the band's eponymous album released last November were positive, nor were their concerts universally lauded. However, a staple of most opinions of the band was the outpouring of support for Jones, portrayed more than ever before as a gifted multi-instrumentalist as well as a major rocking force and riffmeister.

Mansons Guitar Shop in England offers
the John Paul Jones Signature Bass Guitar.
But no matter how many flashy instruments the former Led Zeppelin co-conspirator wields onstage, Jones may perhaps always be known the best as a bassist. This is why last week's announcement of the John Paul Jones Signature Bass Guitar is fitting. Mansons Guitar Shop says Jones's "number one four-string bass has been made available as a low production unit made in Europe with careful quality inspection and final set-up at the Manson Guitars workshop in the UK. Specification is identical to John's actual bass made by Hugh Manson with all upgrades carried out to date, thus reflecting the 2010 version JPJ has toured with Them Crooked Vultures." Full details, specifications and ordering information can be found at the Mansons Guitar Shop website.

At this time, what plans Jones may harbor for the months that lie ahead have not yet been revealed. A wise bet holds that Them Crooked Vultures will return for another round someday. The week of the first album release, it was unanimous among the three group members that a second album would be on the way -- someday.

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