Occasionally you find an act whose music intrigues you, but whose live performance transcends anticipation. For me, that act is Kasabian. There’s some anxiety surrounding this show – this is their first tour in the absence of frontman Tom Meighan, with guitarist Sergio Pizzorno adopting all vocal duties. Despite that, any worries about how he will live up to the theatrics of his predecessor are quickly dispelled, as the East Midlands band sound just as enthused as ever.
Supporting are The Skinner Brothers, whose charismatic take on indie provides a jovial start to the show, their anthems bursting with memorable melodies. While not every attempt to inspire crowd participation succeeds, the effort is valiant and by the end of their set, the audience is left feeling jubilant and excited for the headliners.
Every doubt about how well Kasabian will perform in their new incarnation is quickly swept away. Club Foot opens, the audience chanting its illustrious guitar line, and the roaring anthem of Ill Ray (The King) comes next, followed by fan-favourite Underdog, both of which inspire huge moshpits. Indeed, this crowd is more frenzied than that of most punk shows I’ve been to – an aspect which our frontman is happy to encourage as he tells us to look after each other.
Another magnificent feature of tonight’s performance is the way these musicians transition between genres. Whether it’s the metal-inspired rewrite of Switchblade Smiles or the psychedelia-enthused version of I.D, the songs rarely appear as they do on record, adding to the uniqueness on display. As Kasabian close with L.S.F (Lost Souls Forever) and Fire, the audience is given one last chance to erupt into life.
As we bustle out of the Great Hall, remarks of “that was amazing” and “what a show” can be heard. When this band played the Motorpoint Arena a few years ago there were reports of fans spilling out onto the streets to continue the party after the gig had ended. While today’s crowd is significantly smaller, Kasabian still performed incredibly and provided an experience that many, including this writer, will be eager to relive.
Great Hall, Cardiff University Students Union, Fri 15 Oct
words ALEX SWIFT photos EMMA LEWIS
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