Can you believe it’ s been twelve years since Rob Zombie last performed in the UK? Just think in that space of time Machine Head went a bit shit and got good again, nu-metal died and came back, and Gary Glitter got caught being naughty abroad. Songs like ‘Dragula’ and ‘Superbeast’ are now 13 years old. Gosh that makes us feel ancient. With Joey Jordison back behind the kit, we knew this sold-out show was going to be too good to miss.

Six things we learned when Rob Zombie came to London:

Rob Zombie has more than enough hits for a one and a half hour set. It’s pretty much wall-to-wall party anthems and interestingly only two songs from his former band’s catalogue, which goes to show how credible his efforts have been as a solo artist. Musically, not one boring moment.

When it comes to stage shows, not many can rival the likes of Alice Cooper, Rammstein and Iron Maiden. Rob Zombie is one of very few that can. There’ s fire, biomechanical robots, skeletons, Frankensteins, Nazi costumes, bubblegum balloons and marching band monsters. Visually, not one boring moment.

Rob Zombie has always injected his warped sense of humour into all his projects from his art to his music to his films. Tonight, there is a screen behind the band with black and white B-movie footage, including excerpts from his directorial debut House Of 1000 Corpses. The comical faux-trailer for Werewolf Women Of The SS is shown during the song, and it seems the absurdity of Nicolas Cage playing the role of Fu Manchu will never get old.

John 5 is one of the most versatile session guitarists around. Having already played for Lita Ford, David Lee Roth and Halford, John 5 has now cemented his place as Rob Zombie’s right hand man and co-writer in the band. The strong chemistry between them is evident on stage, especially when John cheekily plays the ‘Sweet Dreams’ melody instead of ‘Thunder Kiss ’65′ and Zombie threateningly reminds him that he could be back playing with Marilyn Manson. It’ s quite unusual for a show like this to have over five minutes dedicated to a guitar solo, but John 5 captivates the entire room’s attention with his neo-classical arpeggios and signature country shred licks.

Tonight’ s show was faultless in every single way and will be a strong contender for gig of the year. Rob Zombie is still one of the most energetic entertainers in music, and the John 5/Joey Jordison/Piggy D supergroup was every bit as tight as we expected. If you were unlucky enough to miss out on tickets for this tour, make sure you don’t miss a second of Rob Zombie’s set at Download 2011.

Here a few show from last night’s gig at Brixton Academy.