Kasabian has been one of the UK’s biggest arena acts for the last decade and a half having headlined Reading and Isle of Wight festivals on multiple occasions as well as a memorable headline set at Glastonbury in 2014. Thus it came as a bit of a shock that they’d chosen to play at the 1600 capacity O2 in Bristol as a warm-up for their latest stint headlining the Isle of Wight, which based off press reports was a resounding success.
The decision proved inspired with the band racing through hit after hit, in a sweat-filled mosh-pit. The pace never lets up from opener “Ill Ray (the King)” off last years For Crying Out Loud, to fan favourites “Shoot the Runner”, “Underdog” and surprise gems such as “Treat” from the 48:13 album. Both the group’s vocalists Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno were in good voice and interacting with a lively Bristol crowd, which more than made itself heard, and you would have thought the venue was at least a few times its actual size. So boisterous was the crowd and loud the music.
they are much more than a run of the mill indie band and seeing what they bring live makes this crystal clear
Having never seen Kasabian prior to this concert and being a relatively big fan, I was every bit as delighted as I expected to be, although I would perhaps have liked more songs from both their 2004 debut and 2009’s West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum which are particular favourites of mine but this only a small quibble, the quality on display meant that whatever they decided to play would go down a storm, which is a luxury few bands have these days, whilst the reception for the new songs was a tad subdued for the majority of the songs off the latest record minus the lead single “You’re in love with a psycho”, it took off to another level with tracks such as “LSF” and closer “Fire”
Whilst Kasabian’s laddish presentation and the style of music they bring may not be to everyone’s liking they are much more than a run of the mill indie band and seeing what they bring live makes this crystal clear. They deserve their status as one of the UK’s biggest rock acts of the last few years and it’s a crying shame that in a similar manner to many of Britain’s big Britpop and indie acts, they have never taken off in the U.S. Without a doubt Kasabian will continue to produce festival favourites and I implore people to check them out in a live venue as it is certain to convert a lot of people who may be hesitant about their music. At a time when indie rock is perhaps on the wane, it is good to see that one of the defining acts of its genre, knows how to keep the flame alive, in spectacular style.