Ruth's Manuvas


My musical ramblings – gig and album reviews, music news and views

Kasabian @Wolves Civic 08/08

Another one of my fave gigs of last year…

Intimate warm-up shows for big festival events can only go one of two ways; Either the band lacklusterly conserve energy, using their audience as guinea pigs for a predictable list of their popular hits, peppered with plugs for the upcoming album.


Or, in Kasabian’s case on Thursday, August 21st at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, they are a chance for the ultimate raucous dress rehearsal – hugely energetic and designed to please, complete with a laser show and backdrop fit for 20,000 fans, let alone the venue’s 5,000 capacity.


No one really should have doubted whether the five-piece from Leicester would muster up the effort to put on a show just three nights prior to their Creamfields debut. After all, the band had a score to settle after whispered criticisms of the new look indie/psychedelic retro genre-bending headliners the organisers had picked for 2008.


‘Shoot The Runner’ teed off the set and was obviously designed to induce a frenzied start to seamlessly introduce the band onto the big dance stage with its psychedelic electro sound. The indie rockers have often been scoffed at for sticking to a ‘Kasabian By Numbers’ template for each of their selected ‘barnstormers’ and indeed, they are not a band to miss the chance to bring out their best bits. But the Wolverhampton gig was deliciously self-indulgent, leaving the crowd in no doubt of their class and intentions for their inaugural dance-fest appearance.


Tom Meighan’s charm offensive wooed the hoards of converted Kasabianites on the back of their self-titled debut and follow-up, ‘Empire’, whose stand out tracks blew through the hardcore indie naysayers like a tank through a feeble front line.


Two new album tracks, ‘Fast Fuse’, with its big beat middle section and the bluesy ‘Fire’ were instant hits at the Civic. By the time the Leicester troupe unleashed the spine tingling ‘Doberman’, complete with faultless trumpet solo and ‘Reason Is Treason’, the crowd were theirs. The swaggering Tom sufficiently warmed and kneaded his congregation until they were putty in his hands and genuinely applauded their efforts after most of the tracks. Nice touch Tom.


Perhaps the laser and animated graphics show, which by the way would have impressed in a venue ten times the size, was the icing on the Kasabian-cake. But no one would underestimate the juggernaut of sound the band produced at the gig, nor what was, under any circumstances, an amazing, charismatic performance.


The band ended fittingly with the sing-along ‘LSF’ – another track to win over the dance masses at Creamfields and leave them singing along into the night, chewing on their gums.


One thing’s for sure, although Tom, Serge and the rest of the band’s egos might appear as big as their sound, they are still humbled by the success and multi-genre acceptance they receive. And it is richly deserved.

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