Leicester lads Kasabian took a break from their UK arena tour last week to play five intimate shows at Brixton’s O2 Academy. Thursday saw the band’s third night at the academy ,which was met with great response by the crowd of 5,000. They put on an extraordinary show both musically and visually.
After eagerly awaiting the thirty-minute countdown to reach its final ten seconds, the crowd joined in to bellow out the last few. The academy sunk into complete darkness as Tom Meighan (vocals) and Sergio Pizzorno (guitar) appeared on stage to open with an acoustic verse of “bumblebeee.” “Brixton are you ready?” Meighan called out as the rest of the band joined them onstage and dropped into the hard-hitting chorus. The manic audience had no time to rest as an intro of Kayne West’s “Black Skinhead” was covered which rolled straight into “Shoot The Runner.”
It appeared Meighan knew the power he held over the audience as he held out the microphone on specific parts of “Underdog” and stood nodding with closed eyes as they did as he wished. Most likely referring the “London is full of c-ts” banner error in Glasgow last month, Meighan later asked “London do you forgive me?”
Kasabian’s greatest trait is their ability to jump from hard-rocking anthems to tracks with more of a dance genre to them. This was perfectly executed on the night as they went from “Days Are Forgotten” to 48:13’s “eez-eh” and straight into “Fast Fuse.”
Sergio took on the roll of front man for a bit as he sang lead vocals for “bow” and “U Boat.” “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water” he stated as they went into the bass heavy “Switchblade Smiles.” Meighan returned to the stage for the now football anthem “Club Foot” which was met with the audience chanting the bass line throughout.
The session musicians deserve recognition for their contribution to the astounding show. Latest guitarist Tim Carter, armed with a Gibson SG, brought a fresher, heavier sound to some of the Kasabian classics, and threw in a phenomenal cover of Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” accompanied by Gary Alesbrook on the trumpet. Dressed as skeletons a string quartet also joined the stage and brought a rich harmonious sound to “Where Did All The Love Go,” “Re-Wired” and “Empire.” A spectacular laser show was put on by the lighting engineers for the trance-like ending of “treat,” and the countdown returned for “Vlad The Impaler” which generated a great atmosphere as the crowd jumped up and down as it reached zero shouting “Get loose, get loose!”
Epic may be the only word to describe the bands return for their encore. Whilst the audience were still harmonising the chorus of “Fire” a beam of white light shone from behind the string quartet as they began the intro to “stevie.” As each musician kicked in, their silhouettes were projected by the same beam of light, until all the band members were met with white strobes and lasers for the intense chorus. The show ended with a cover of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” which slipped perfectly into “L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever).” “See you at the same time tomorrow” Pizzorno stated as he left the stage.
Kasabian are often associated with the “football-lad” stereotype. Seeing them perform live goes to show just how musically talented they are and not just the boisterous group they are associated with. But there is no denying they know how to raise a good chant, especially as fans took to the London Underground and chants of “EEZ-EH EEZ-EH EEZ-EH” echoed down the Victoria Line.