From the Irish Times (November, 2004):

He hangs on tight to the microphone stand, a black silhouette on the Ambassador stage, and emits the kind of feral growl that makes you wonder if he's human, or some shadowy creature of the night. Mark Lanegan is, of course, the latter, a man who has walked down life's darkest alleyways, and probably scared off some of the other denizens. His band, The Screaming Trees, were contemporaries of Nirvana, and it's a wonder that Lanegan didn't follow Kurt Cobain into the other world. Or maybe he did, and that's his undead aura standing menacingly on the stage.

Singing with Queens Of The Stone Age has been a kind of rehab for Lanegan, but he's continued to record his own solo albums. His newest, Bubblegum, is his best, featuring such fine, frazzled blues-rock tunes as Hit The City, Metamphetamine Blues, Sideways In Reverse and When Your Number Isn't Up. QOTSA's Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri collaborate on the album, as do P.J. Harvey and Velvet Revolver's Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan.

Looking for familiar faces in the darkness of the stage, you can just make out the elongated beard and bald pate of Oliveri on bass. He's also Lanegan's support act on tour, playing a short acoustic set, but word from the early-comers is that he's better off keeping the day job. However, given rumours that both Oliveri and Lanegan have left Queens Of The Stone Age, it looks as though the biker-like bassist is in rock-'n'-roll limbo.

Lanegan seems assured and composed on stage, although it's hard to guess his expression, since, for the entire gig, not a single spotlight even brushes past his face. The slight-looking girl to Lanegan's right is not Polly Jean, but she provides a suitably rootsy vocal backing. The feel of a desert session is amplified by a band that jams out like Crazy Horse crossed with Mercury Rev.

Lanegan has a plentiful back-catalogue to pull from, what with his numerous solo albums, his QOTSA collaborations and his Screaming Trees classics; so there's understandable disappointment when he says "see ya" after just 50 minutes on stage. Perhaps he was worried that if he tarried too long, the spotlight might eventually catch him and turn him to desert dust.