Kasabian, O2 Academy, 26th October 2011
Picture the scene, the queue outside the Leicester o2 Academy looks a mile long and each face has probably never looked so excited. What are all these faces old, young and people in the middle (that would be me) waiting for? The return of Leicester’s greatest ever export, and no I am not talking about Gary Linerker or Showaddywaddy. I am of course talking about Kasabian, the current darlings of the music industry, lead by none other Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno.
6.30pm hits and the door open. In we start running, person after person determined to get to the front and be near the idols. As each person running in they can hear the blistering beats from Radio 1’s main man Zane Lowe (Oh how I wish the rumour I heard it was Fearne Cotton was true). Zane, as I am sure anyone listening to Radio 1 will know, plays an amazing mix. Lots of nice little touches are thrown in by Zane like asking the ever growing crowd to pick which song they would like to hear to be played on the radio. The first pick of the night chosen was Arctic Monkeys I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor, this song started to get the crowd going and jumping up and down sporadicly on the dance floor. All this while the clock on the side of a stage seems to resemble a count down as to the reason why we are here, to see England’s finest play.
About 7.30 a very special guest took to the stage. Yes, it was Tom coming on stage causing the biggest eruption yet. Tom came on stage with his normal swagger, that we have grown to love form this front man. One call out from Tom caused the crowd to chant back, “We love you Leicester we do, we love you Leicester we do”. Tom, feeding off the chants of his home town, was quickly asked to pick a track before leaving the stage. The song choice being Invaders Must Die, and with that Tom was gone.
Zane kept us all going and jumping with some great beats including Rock n Roll Star, No One Knows and Changed the Way You kissed Me with this there was time for one more track Blur Song Two.
The time was now, the hours build up had happened. The stage was clear. The chants had started “Leicestershire la la la”. On walk Leicester’s very own version of Oasis, Kasabian. Tom strolling onto the stage shades on arms outspread, sucking in the energy.
Then boom, we are off! Kicking off with the mighty anthem that is Club Foot, driven hard into the crowd, the perfect opener. Everyone pushing forward in the crowd, Tom walking round the stage like he owns it (and believe me he does own that stage). Tom’s voice is on fire, as is the band. The moment the song finishes we dive straight into Where Did All The Love Go? This is where the only little bit of hassle of the night appeared to happen with Jay Melher’s guitar producing lots of feed back during the song. Even this can not stop the machine rolling.
Days Are Forgotten is the first track we are treated to from the latest album. This new track sounding like it has been played forever by the band. Shoot The Runner is the next track to be blasted to us! This also the first point of the night where we get to hear Tom shout “Leicester”, and to put our “F**king arms in the air” to the end the song.
“My people, my family Leicester!!” and with that we bang head first into the most popping song they have done so far the title track of the album Velociraptor. A song I want to hate, but just find myself singing along to with Tom, while he ensures he uses every bit of that stage giving to him attacking the song like a wild dog.
More Leicester from Tom arrives between the song, and the highlight of the night was the mass sway that takes place to Underdog. Every word sung back and chorus sung for him. This is the most pumped the crowd have looked all night. Finding one person not singing along would be like finding a situation Harry Potter couldn’t escape from. This is the moment you go to a gig for!
Re-wired is next followed by Empire, two more massive hits with the crowd.
Toms swagger now at full strength and the crowd now giving him the love he is demanding. Man Of Simple Pleasures is announced as being the 9th track we are going to hear. The song itself a lot slower than you expect it to be. This would affect many bands, but not Kasabian, who attack it in the same way they only know – head on first. Serge throwing in the chorus and Tom belting out the verses.
“Sexy boy, Segio” “If I was gay I would” confirms Tom, to every girl and guy confirming.
Vlad The Impaler is now announced and kicked in. “Everybody, now everybody” Tom requests for the chorus. Who are we to disappoint. Get loose, get loose, get loose we all sing, while jumping like crazy.
At this point of the gig, how can they beat that… ah they have one more trick up the sleeves, or as Tom states “This song… er, is the greatest song everrrrrr”
FIRE…. If there was ever a song to make a crowd go crazy sing back at you this is it. From the moment the first lyric is sung everyone is clapping and switching to jumping like a kid on a sugar rush.
The band in the element of the song, each member knowing the role so well… and with that the band were off. If you were listening to the gig via Radio 1, that was your lot. If you were there chanting for more there was indeed more. Who are they to disappoint? They walk back on and give Goodbye Kiss (dedicated to the departed Sven Goran Erickson), following by LSF as the climax to this night.
As the band all leave the stage again we are left with just one more image, as Tom stays on stage to give the crowd some Leicester City Football Club chants. Never one to shy away from his love of his beloved home club and home town.
Walking out to the people who were there, you had the feeling you had just witnessed something special, and it was this. This was England’s biggest rock group, showing the small group of people who queued up for hours why they’re so adored!
I guess the only way to close this review is by using the most common chant of the night by the crowd and the band
“Leicester, Leicester, Leicester”
By Lucas Bettles