Kasabian at the Forum
The Kasabian/Oasis comparison isn’t new: the songwriter plays the guitar, leaving the singing duties to the frontman; both bands are attached to a football team; and their fanbase overlaps to a great extent. They are festival and stadium favourites, but have a clear appetite for smaller venues. Since the dissolution of the Gallaghers’ iconic group, Serge Pizzorno and Tom Meighan took their Brit rock paladins sceptre and held it with pride. Last night at the Forum, the 2,000-strong crowd jumped in excitement so vigorously throughtout the set that the entire auditorium wouldn’t stop shaking.
Their latest single, Comeback Kid, is pretty much the best possible opener they could have come up with. As the lights went down and the crowd started to cheer, the epic trumpet intro welcomed the band on stage as they launched into their career-spanning 90-minute show. “Here we stand, side by side” resonated like a testament to a rock act who made of soundness their core value (Meighan referred to his bandmate as “my beautiful wife” later in the set).
The setlist was ridiculously rich of hits: Bumblebeee sent the Kentish Town venue into an uncontrollable state of frenzy, heightened by the heavy use of strobe lights. “Thanks London, you are better than last night,” said Meighan and it’s not a surprise. While the first concert in a series of gigs is clearly the favourite for press, the best show usually comes on the next evening when the performers have properly settled in.
Underdog and Eezh-Eh followed, with the latter being a true crowd inciter – and it got way more fun as the rockers mashed it up with Daft Punk’s 97 hit Around the World. With pride they presented the first single off of their new album, I’m in Love with a Psycho. It’s clear the band went for a back-to-basics approach, with less aggressive sounds, more focus on the melodies and also clear punk elements that became apparent when they played Bless This Acid House – clearly their summer single.
However, the absolute highlight of the night was Club Foot, the ultimate Kasabian song. With its dry, repetitive, obsessive melody and beat, it’s the emblem of a new (yes, still feels new 13 years since its release) but timeless English rock.
Meighan wore a pinstripe suit (and funny white sunglasses), stylish but not as punk-rock as Pizzorno’s white tee, jeans – and Rickenbacker 481 SF. “Sergio, Sergio,” chanted the Forum after he played La Fée Verte, one of the most Lennon-esque tracks of the Leicester four-piece, with the live string-quartet emerging from the background.
It’s hard not to mention everything they played from the killer riff of Re-Wired to the super 90s/Tim Wheeler-inspired chorus of Bless This Acid House. Unsurpringly, Lost Souls Forever, Vlad the Impaler and Fire were the peaks of the final part of the show. Fire, in particular, brought madness to the stalls.
Alongside Coldplay and Muse, Kasabian are the best live band Britain has to offer today. Catch them while you can.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Jon Mo
Watch Club Foot live at the Forum here: