Kerrang! Magazine, September 2004

Live Review

Islington Academy, London

The greatest singer in rock - no debate

For a man whose voice alone sounds like it was fashioned from an oak cask soaked rotten from the sting of centuries-old bourbon, you can't help but feel what a peculiar choice of title 'Bubblegum' was for Mark Lanegan's latest album. Nothing this lone ranger of the broken heart and shattered soul has ever put his name to has remotely resembled the disposable, and watching him tonight, shadowed from the spotlights on some dark road to redemption, the contrast seems more apparent.

Still, the record does mark something of a departure, and with half the set given over to the new material, it's evident that Lanegan's tenure in QOTSA has upped the rock quotient considerably. And it's not just on current cuts like the fuzz-heavy 'Hit The City' or the driving 'Sideways In Reverse' - his earlier folk-blues outings (try the fragile 'Resurrection Song') haunt the air with a greater weight tonight as well. Although for sheer amped magnificence, nothing beats the finale of 'Fix' as it explodes into an extended whiteout of blistering feedback.

A beautifully strong return.

Review of Reading Festival show on August the 28th 2004.


After joining Oliveri for a couple of songs, Lanegan emerges to a brooding, darkly lit Carling Tent and kills it. It's all in the voice, one of history, that tells his life story in one dark mumble. He gets away with playing the blues because you can hear the sadness in each gravely growl, the weight of his life turned poetically into beauty onstage.

By TB.