Bridlington, one of Yorkshire’s seaside towns and buzzing with excitement as the hoards of Kasabian fans are queuing up outside in the cool sea fret, they know inside its going to get hotter than hot, and so suffering the cold in your T-shirt and shorts is a small price to pay for tonight’s sweatbox show.
Its been a while since Kasabian have played a gig, in fact this is the first proper one of 2016 after a guest slot at the Leicester City trophy celebration night.
This is a warm up for 2 massive shows at the LCFC Football Stadium in 3 days time and as rehearsals go it can’t get much better.
Opening with ‘Underdog’ and the tempo is set dramatically at the start, it doesn’t relent as ‘Bumblebee’ gets an early outing and by the time ‘Shoot the Runner’ starts, any thought of that cold sea fret has vanished and the crowd are rammed to the barrier sweatily bouncing all over the place.
Tom Meighan in typical fashion arms aloft and then bowing to the crowd at the front of the stage before the band unleash those riffs and electronica sounds that have made them a prime stadium band of the last few years. To see them blow this small hall (for them) apart is a joy to watch. They have played it before in 2013 but this time it feels more animated and powerful. A very tight competent live band with additional keys and a bevvy of strings supplied by some ladies in latex skeleton outfits, it all adds to the scope and breadth of the music, making it a much more intense affair.
There are moments when Tom disappears off leaving Serge Pizzorno to take centre stage with his acoustic guitar, but at the closing lo-fi refrain of ‘Take Aim’, the unmistakeable opening bombastic guitar and bassline of ‘Club Foot’ erupts and there is almost an audience physical recoil as if an explosion has taken place, and then the whole floor starts to shake in rhythm.
Concert earthquakes aside, just remember this is a warm up show! A rehearsal for what will be a couple of amazing performances, in a football stadium where they are the fans, in the year where their football team unexpectedly won UK footballs highest prize…intense! It will be immense for anyone lucky enough to be there.
The setlist suprisingly does not hold any new songs, its basically a greatest hits (so far) set. A celebration in the same way they are celebrating a footballing triumph. A fairly even spread from all five of their albums, but the delivery is far from the feeling of being under rehearsed.
A comedy moment does occur when Serge wanders off to the left of stage to get the Spa balcony occupants moving, at the precise moment when he raises his hand, someone throws a jacket which lands on his hand making him look like a rock star coat hanger. He casually takes it off his hand and puts on the jacket, as if it was meant to happen. Its like whatever you want to throw at this band they will take it in their stride, confidence shading on arrogance but that’s a rock stars’ way, and this is a very fine live rock band producing a staggering performance after several months off, justification I think for a bit of showing off!
Slow handclapping initiated by Meighan and Pizzorno slowly builds to the dramatic opening of ‘Empire’, and its on tracks like this where the skeletal strings get those internal needles all flickering and make the music so much more anthemic and powerful.
We’ve had the soft cheese of ‘Goodbye Kiss’ and the audience responding appropriately with swaying arms, somehow that track doesn’t fit with the rest of the set, but its short lived and after a burst of Fatboy Slims ‘Praise You’ it meshes quite brilliantly into ‘L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)’ and we are back to the raucous singalongabounce. 15 tracks and they leave the stage triumphant, the crowd continuing to sing the chorus line from LSF and then some typical for this area “Yorkshire, Yorkshire” chants.
We all knew as they hadn’t played ‘Fire”, a return was imminent, but first we have ‘Stevie’ from their last album 48:13 and ‘Vlad the Impaler’ from West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.
Serge now wearing his hat, takes centre stage to get the Bridlington massive, bouncing for one last time “You know whats coming” he shouts, and it feels like the whole place is jumping and screaming “Get Loose, Get Loose”. Final track of the night and a thousand phones go up in the air for ‘Fire’, it’s a fitting end to a great night and if this is what they are like after a short break, then later this year we are in for some incredible shows. If you can get to Leicester City Football ground in a few days’ time then you should, Kasabian are back and on Fire!