Bruce Springsteen, A gaffer gig?
This article was translated from another language [quite dismally]. I’ve tried my best to make it more readable…
For swashbuckling Leicestershire rockers Kasabian, the call came unforeseen, and the offering was one that they only could not refuse. The group were already gearing themselves up for a busy summertime, with a new album, their headline circuit plus a series of bowl shows with Oasis and the Enemy.
But the opportunity to be the main support act for Bruce Springsteen’s hotly hoped-for appearance on the main stage at Glastonbury was impossible to deny.
‘It gives us an incredible chance,’ states Tom Meighan, the band’s overactive frontman. We weren’t attending any out-of-door festivals this year, but playing Glastonbury with Springsteen is something different and we’re delighted to do it’.
‘We ‘ve got a new audience to hit there. I make no desire to sound wacky, but being there will be a religious event. The energy in the place will be electrifying.
‘I’m overly emotional,’ adds guitarist Serge Pizzorno. ‘At Glastonbury, you ask to get to your spot early, so there are attending be a great deal of people sub that field waiting for The Chief. They ‘ll chance themselves watching this unusual small band from Leicester. And they ‘ll be stating “Who are these cool cats? They are really good! ” That the response we ‘re looking for. ‘
Some bands might pale at the chance of playing second fiddle at one of the rock events of the summertime, but Kasabian are no withering violets. Supremely confident, they hold a swagger that sets them apart from their equals. Sinful line-shooting is second nature to them. And they love a challenge.
Like their soul mates Oasis, they see rock ‘n’ roll as a thing of communal jubilation and their unrecorded shows are strident, sing along things, with the incitive Meighan playing the part of cheerleader-in-chief. But, according to the vocalist himself, their self-belief shouldn’t be misidentified for lordliness.
‘If you are going to perform before of thousands of people, you necessitate to hold that belief, ‘ he tells. When a boxer enters the ring, he makes no excuse for himself. It remains the same with us. ‘
Gossiping over lunch at their Wheeler Terminal rehearsal studio in Buckinghamshire, Meighan and Pizzorno cut deeply contrasting figures.
The guys, both 28, have been nicknamed Leicester ‘s response to Jagger and Keith Richards, although an East Midlands equivalent of Liam and Noel Gallagher is a bit closer to the score, with Tom ‘s disposition to shoot from the hip balanced by the more thoughtful, measured mind-set of Serge, who (like Noel in Oasis) is the band’s main songwriter. Any similarities with Oasis are an affair of attitude instead of musical content, with Kasabian eschewing the Beatles-esque hooks of Britpop for a far more diverse set of rock and dance influences.
‘Musically, we’re nothing like Oasis,’ Serge says ‘and even Noel would acknowledge that. What we share is the same set of values. There remains a pragmatism to what Oasis do and it remains the same with us.
Liam is a loopy frontman, but he is likewise astonishing. Tom is the same. I consider him the greatest frontman of his contemporaries. He is Bowie, Jagger and Freddie Mercury rolled into one. With us, he is about the euphoria of playing live. When Oasis make a gig, they convert the crowd with their large anthems. We take our fans on a journey. It’s more about making music and making it fun, the mode you might make with great dance music.’
Signifying themselves with their self-titled debut album in 2004, Kasabian consolidated their reputation with 2006 ‘s million-selling Empire. Now, with their 3rd album, *Occident Ryder Pauper Madman Refuge’, out now, they are doing their bravest move yet.
Invigorated by psychedlic conception albums such as The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and the Small Faces ‘ Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’, it is an eclectic album that intermixes Pizzorno ‘s fiery rock riffs with experimental flourishes, Mariachi horns and cinematic musings worthy of Ennio Morricone. The band got started on it early last year, with Serge producing the musical design on a laptop in his Leicestershire home after the band returned from an draining, extensive tour.
‘We were on the tour without a existent interruption and I necessitated to sit down and take stock, ‘ states the guitarist. ‘I came up with the album title early. I conceived giving the record a unhinged name would give us the freedom to make whatever we desired. I passed hours working on the tracks at home with a few old synths and a guitar. For me, it’s all about the buzz you get at three in the morning, when you come up with a groove and a great chorus.’
The band met at Countesthorpe Community College, on the outskirts of Leicestershire, Tom and Serge got the band – who likewise have bassist Chris Edwards and drummer Ian Matthews – in 1999.
Animated by the energy of the Britpop period, they gigged locally while doing a series of day-jobs – Tom working in the now-defunct Dr Martens factory in Leicestershire before becoming a sheet-metal worker.
‘Musically, the wealth was buzzing and we experienced that we could make anything,’ Serge recalls. We were naive and infantile, but we worked until we got someplace. I believed in us. Even when people didn’t seem excessively bothered – and there were plenty of them – I recognised we ‘d encountered a niche. ‘
After procuring a deal with Sony Music in 2003, the band members left to sleep in isolation in a reborn farmhouse at nearby Rutland Water. It was, Serge thinks, a helter-skelter period.
‘We desired someplace where we could be together to do our first album,’ he says. We were living on super-noodles, toast, pizza and Walker’s crisps. It wasn’t exactly a healthy life. But it was an intense period. We were a cluster of ordinary boys from Leicestershire sleeping in a farmhouse and creating superb cuts. ‘
Now, five years on, the band take a more considered attack to the routines of the rock concern. As Tom says, they pick their conflicts more carefully these days. Their tendency to work mayhem onstage stays, though. Launching the new album with a gig in London last month, the band took this phase in the most expansive way possible.
Picked out by searchlights, they emerged from a fog of dry ice and connected their instruments only for their triumphant opening chords to be cut short when the powerfulness failed.
Even that wasn’t enough to indent Meighan’s comedic swagger. The frontman only took a slow, theatrical bow, punched the air and walked off. Returning to proceedings after, he attended to do with even less constraint than usual.
‘We ‘re a proper rock group,’ he tells. Overly many groups only churn out hits to make money. Not this lot. We’re one of the last groups on the planet with existent enthusiasm.’
Kasabian’s new single, Fire, is out on Columbia on Mon. The album, Occident Ryder Pauper Madman Sanctuary [West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum to you and me], follows on June 8. Their British tour gets underway tonight at DE Montfort Hall, Leicestershire. They are also playing Glastonbury. For more items, visitkasabian.co.uk.
*See! This is what I have to deal with…LOL!