Serge of Interest

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Rock stars Kasabian have become dedicated snooker fans since the emergence of Mark Selby as a major player on the world scene.

The band’s interest in snooker has developed in tandem with the success of fellow Leicester native Selby, who was runner-up at the Crucible last year and has captured two major titles this season.

Bass player Chris Edwards has known Selby for several years; the pair play snooker at the 147 Club in Leicester and, rumour has it, even risk the odd duet on the karaoke machine.

The band’s other members have now picked up the green baize bug, particularly guitarist Serge Pizzorno, who made the trip to Wembley to see Selby beat Stephen Lee in the SAGA Insurance Masters final in January.

“I watched the semis on TV then decided, as Mark had got to the final, to go down to London,” said Pizzorno, who writes much of Kasabian’s music and sings vocals along with Tom Meighan. “It was the first time I’d been to a snooker match and it was a great atmosphere. The arena was much bigger than I thought it would be but a lot more chilled. I’d definitely like to go to the Crucible as well.

“I’ve buzzed off watching Ronnie O’Sullivan on TV since I was a kid. He looks cool, he’s just a geezer. I like that in any sport. Then Mark came along at the World Championship and I saw him, it was great to have someone from Leicester. He’s a brilliant player and he’s a character too.

“Chris knocks around with Mark quite a bit. We both play a bit of snooker at the 147 where Mark plays. I love playing but I’m terrible at it. Snooker seems like one of the last sports to be a real people’s game, you can almost imagine that players get on a bus to go to a game.”

Kasabian, who are named after Linda Kasabian, a member of the Charles Manson cult, were formed in 1999, the original members having met at school. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2004, opening with Club Foot, perhaps their most recognisable single. The follow-up Empire came in 2006 and they are now set to release their third album. Drawing comparisons with the likes of Primal Scream, Oasis and the Stone Roses, their brand of indie rock has earned them a huge fan base in the UK and overseas, as well as significant critical acclaim. Their inspiring stage performances earned them Best Live Act at last year’s NME Awards.

Pizzorno, whose father is Italian, obviously has a multitude of gifts, having originally had ambitions of becoming a professional footballer, and famously scoring a brilliant volley on Soccer AM’s Road to Wembley.

Music remains his first love, but he now hopes he could combine that with snooker during breaks while on tour.

“The Rolling Stones take a snooker table with them to play on before they do gigs,” he added. “If we get big enough we might do the same. At the moment we’re at ’pool table’ level!”

http://www.worldsnooker.com/

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