This Friday Kasabian are set to play the Royal Albert Hall in contribution to the mouth watering lineup of this years Teenage Cancer Trust Shows. First though, two intimate warm-up gigs are in place… with the 20th seeing Tom and Serge tear up Plymouth Pavilions.
It was Kasabian’s first visit to the city and throughout the day photo updates were posted on the band’s twitter page, suggesting that they made the most of the sunny weather… This photo mimicks the iconic Beatles shot taken upon Plymouth Hoe.
Fast forward a couple of hours into a sold out sports hall. There is no doubt amongst the young crowd that this place is going to explode, just because its Kasabian. Anyway, the lights dim, chants start and Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws theme creates a dramatic ‘shit yer kecks’ introduction.
In true Kasabian style their cocksure gravitiation is evident from the off. Opening with Days Are Forgotten from Velociraptor, the crowd were far from extinct as instantly surges are on the agenda allowing people at the back to get stuck into the action. The place explodes and I’m not exaggerating.
With little time for air Shoot The Runner’s deviating riff kicks in and the party continues. People end up on their asses as mates try to pull them up before they are crushed. The night went this way until older tracks from Kasabian’s debut album were included, giving off a different scent to that of the new. Established electronic hooks transform pushes and shoves into hugs and dancing. Never the less some found it irresistible to continue the antics during Reason Is Treason and ID.
Similar to the appearances we saw at Reading & Leeds last summer Kasabian dropped the Clockwork Orange theme into their set… and to sound sickeningly cliched it was incredibly heartwarming. For me also this marked the right time to get on someones shoulders, for as I expected the edgy iconic track paved the way for Take Aim as Tom left the stage and gave Sergio his first turn lead vocals.
You may have guessed Kasabian are my favourite band, so these next eight words excited me emphatically, Serge announced, “We haven’t played this next one in years.” Okay! Fucking brilliant. Acoustic guitar so, U Boat? Or British Legion? It turned out to be the latter, blissfully pulling off every note, it was first rate to finally hear this track live and it only took four gigs!
Following this Tom arrived back onstage, looking almost as hammered as the crowd. He gave the rendition applause with a menacing look on his face. However this next string of songs explained the smug look as they really tested the crowds stamina. So imagine this, Club Foot, Re-wired, Empire and Fast Fuse… now I can see why when I pulled my ticket stub from my pocket, it resembled a soggy bank note fresh out of the washing machine. During Club Foot gaping circles emerged in the packed crowd just waiting for that bass drop… and when it came… well I think you can imagine the effect.
The gig also saw the second appearance of the new live guitarist after Jay Mehler’s departure for Beady Eye, his significant input didn’t go unnoticed as the Serge applauded his efforts at the culmination of the night.
A fruitful singalong was provided during a cover of Praise You, which cleverly looped into the fan favourite LSF. As the crowd roared back the chorus Serge commanded one another to clamber onto a mates shoulders… so we did and this was the view (right). During the climax of the song a fight broke out, which caused a team of security to throw themselves into the crowd… the band looked to be lapping up these levels of intoxicated chaos.
After a swift bout of goodbyes the fans were left hollering the LSF melody. Until that firm dirty loop of the Switchblade Smiles intro acted as a catalyst for adrenaline levels to soar. The band appear, cool beverages arc overhead. I live for these moments. As the band have stated many times before, this is a moshpit song built for encores.
Just when we thought we’d seen it all Vlad The Impaler kicked in, taking exactly the same effect. By this moment in time people are gasping for air and a pint of ice cold water… may taste like the finest cognac. Topping it all off with the most commercially successful Fire, Kasabian reminded me why they were built to headline festivals and why they are arguably the most powerful live band around today. I was stupidly glad to have made the effort to see them tonight in such an intimate setting. Terrific. As always.
(If anyone knows Kasabian introduce me, as I think we were made to be best friends.)