‘Spinning in Daffodils’ by Them Crooked Vultures
From the album Them Crooked Vultures (2009)
It is six years and a day since I woke up with one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had.
I remember this because on that day I drove from my home town of Darley Dale, Derbyshire to Blackpool, a journey of nearly a hundred painstaking miles, knowing that, at the end of it, I would be in Blackpool, in December. I undertook this ridiculous endeavour in order to see Them Crooked Vultures; I’m sure sure I would have bothered for many other bands but this I had to see. I’d caught the band’s secret set at Leeds Festival a few months previously, having just lost my phone in a moshpit to Enter Shikari (luckily, I ran into a good friend of mine who knew I’d want to see TCV – cheers Dave!) but due to that incident and the lack of recordings released by the band at that point I didn’t really know what was going on (plus I was super turnt). I remember being blown away by John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl in particular, but not much else and so I knew that I had to see them again. I knew that I could battle the hangover to end them all and I’d even go to Blackpool in the dead of winter whilst doing it. So me and my good friend Richard set off on our epic quest and, predictably, it was brilliant. The Empress Ballroom is also Blackpool’s only redeeming feature. However, I’m not here to review a show from six years ago, nor is this an episode of ‘Grand Designs’. If you are trying to watch an episode of ‘Grand Designs’, please adjust your set.
The song, ‘Spinning in Daffodils’, is the shit. It is one of those ultimate album closers that I wish I had written; from Joshua Homme’s incredible riffs and the millisecond-perfect delay in his tone to Grohl’s thunderous drums but, most of all, John Paul Jones’ bass. His outro really is something special – the little runs underpinned by some serious low string work. It sounds as if the strings (all twelve, yes, a twelve-string bass) were put on the bass moments before they hit ‘record’, did one take (because I assume that’s all JPJ needs) and were instantly discarded, or put into a cryogenic freezing facility to be preserved forever, such is the perfection that they enabled.
Another wonderful facet of the song is Homme’s vocals. They harmonise with a guitar line throughout what you would call the ‘main’ part of the song before breaking loose and delivering one of the most simple yet greatest line of lyrics ever written over the outro – ‘I got so high that I just may never come down’. The whole outro sent shivers down my spine the first time I heard it and continues to do so to this day. Performed live the song is even more atmospheric and mesmerising, with Jones closing out the song with a keyboard solo, as seen here.
Finally, let us take a moment to appreciate that Them Crooked Vultures are made up of Joshua Homme (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and John Paul freaking Jones (Led Zeppelin) and they also posted the funniest video ever made on the internet.