Glastonbury headliners, Brit award winners, there is no denying that Kasabian have made explosive progress with their music.
Even if you wouldn’t necessarily call yourself a fan of the band, their music is the kind that has a way of seeping into your consciousness through the media, and sealing a certain kind of familiarity that comes only with music as unique as Kasabian’s.
Comfortably taking on Belfast’s Odyssey, the night was opened with a band who are quite largely underrated despite their achievements – The Maccabees. To support Kasabian, a band that have made such a large grounding and recognition for themselves within music may just be what the band need to finally seal their own form of recognition. Appearing unphased by the large venue, The Maccabees promoted mostly their new songs for their upcoming 2014 album, but they did throw in a couple of their older songs such as ‘Precious Time.’ This was particularly notable in the show as a certain nostalgia for their older songs became evident as they appeared to really relish and enjoy this particular song.
Although they were nominated for The Mercury Prize for their last album Given To The Wild (that came in at No. 4 on the UK albums chart) and have played on the main stages of various festivals, The Maccabees do not seem to have upheld these achievements adequately. This was clear through their show as there was a feeling that many in the crowd weren’t familiar with their music, and the sense of discovering a new band pervaded the Odyssey arena. Perhaps it was the abundance of new songs they chose to play, but there was just not the amount of energy and dynamism that the band wanted as they strived to rally the crowd up.
A large pink and black timer, the colours of their new album cover, ticked down the seconds until Kasabian took to the stage. No real introduction necessary, the night kicked off finally when the timer reached 00.00.00 and they belted out explosive track ‘bumblebeee.’ Tom Meighan’s effortless voice and determined expression reminds you of the many reasons Kasabian were Glastonbury headliners this year. A large comic sans font simply displaying the word ‘bumble’, again in the colours of their album cover, was adorned behind the band. Other mock subliminal messages appeared at points throughout the night also.
Although, beginning with an offering from their new No 1 album, this did not set the tone for the night as they continued to belt out classic Kasabian hits one after another. This was not a night for promoting their new album, as successful as it has been, this was a night for celebrating how far the band have come and just how reknowned their music now is. As they seemlessly worked their way through songs such as “Shoot The Runner”, “Underdog” (with an extensive drum solo) and “Where Did All The Love Go”, you realise the sheer breadth of their musical catalogue.
With such an expansive list of fast paced songs, the token slow, slightly more mellow song of the night was “Goodbye Kiss”, which was really brought to life with the addition of violinists. This was a song for the audience to stereotypically wave their arms in unison. Throwing this song into the mix stripped away the preconceived notions of Kasabian as simply a band all about the heavy guitar riffs, while this might be true for a great deal of their songs, “Goodbye Kiss” served to show their true musical capabilities beyond our expectations.
With an encore consisting unexpectedly, of Fat Boy Slim’s “Praise You” Kasabian ended the night on a high, celebratory note. Choosing a song so undeniably sewn into the fabric of almost everyone’s musical familiarity and one that is quite at odds with the music we are used to from Kasabian, the night closed with the feeling that Kasabian are simply enjoying their position as an iconic British band. Kaity Hall, GiggingNI