Kasabian are coming home

Tom Meighan on the jumbo jet in 2011

4th June 2014

Kasabian – coming to Leicester this month

13th June

News update

Kasabian concert work begins

PREPARATIONS begin this week as Leicester gets ready to host Kasabian’s landmark homecoming concert at Victoria Park.

About 50,000 people are expected at the sold-out Summer Solstice concert on Saturday, June 21, to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the city’s biggest music event of the year.

As part of the preparations, concert promoters Live Nation are working closely with Leicester City Council and Leicestershire Police on traffic and travel arrangements for the big day.

Measures will be put in place to ensure the thousands of travelling fans can get in and out of the city as quickly and easily as possible, to help residents and businesses near the park and to create safe, free-flowing routes for concert-goers and traffic coming to and from the site.

Travel arrangements are also being put in place to encourage concert-goers to leave their cars at home and travel by bus or on foot.

Additional parking is being made available for visiting fans, regular bus services – some of which run past Victoria Park – will be offering a special late service, and a “Park and Stride” scheme will be operating from Leicester Racecourse.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Kasabian are one of the UK’s most highly-rated live bands, and this midsummer homecoming concert will be a fantastic event for Leicester, as well as one of the region’s biggest concerts this summer.

“An event of this size so close to the centre of the city involves a lot of planning, and will inevitably cause some disruption to traffic and especially to local residents and businesses.

“We are working closely with Live Nation and Leicestershire Police to make suitable travel arrangements both for local fans and those travelling from away.

“We are also making sure that people living or working near Victoria Park know how the event might affect them, and where they can get help and advice to minimise the disruption.”

In the streets near to Victoria Park, there will be a mixture of temporary road closures on the day of the concert, restricted parking on other roads and alternative parking and access offered to local residents and businesses wherever possible.

The arrangements are being put in place to help prevent residential streets becoming gridlocked with concert traffic, and to ensure main routes to and from the site remain open for traffic to enter and leave as easily as possible.

A one-way traffic system will be brought in for traffic coming from the north and west of Victoria Park, involving University Road, Lancaster Road, De Montfort Street and Regent Road, while a similar scheme will operate to the south of the park, along Victoria Park Road, Queens Road and Clarendon Park Road.

Letters are being sent out to residents in the area this week explaining how the arrangements could affect them.  Diversions and closures will be clearly marked on signposts going up on main access routes and on streets near to the park over the next week or so.

The concert will be the biggest event at Victoria Park since the Radio One “One Big Sunday” free concerts, which ran from 2001 to 2003 and attracted up to 80,000 people.

Summer Sundae Weekender, which took place in De Montfort Hall, its gardens and part of Victoria Park until 2012, regularly attracted about 18,000 fans over three days.

Full details of additional bus services, Park and Stride and traffic plans will be available at: www.leicester.gov.uk/kasabian

Information on Kasabian’s Summer Solstice concert itself is available from Live Nation

[Source: Leicester City Council]

Tom Meighan at Leicester O2
Tom Meighan at Leicester O2

Kasabian home-coming gig sold out.

16th May

Kasabian on the telly

I got home from the Shed in time to see Kasabian on the Jools Holland show.

Tom Meighan was being interview by the redoubtable Mr. Holland and they were talking about Leicester as musical city; Tom was saying good things about it and made mention of famous artists who had been or are associated with it – including Englebert Humperdinck.

Serge mentioned that Englebert lives nearby to him. Jools said that Leicester had some good points and mentioned The Shakespeare as a pub that he knew (though he didn’t say which one but our guess is that it’s the one near the Holiday Inn.)

An early video of Kasabian, playing ten years ago, was shown.

Kasabian performed their new song Bumblebee. Very Oasis-ish I thought.

You can watch it on YouTube.

As Kasabian will be doing their home gig on Victoria Park this month (Saturday 21st June), we thought it would be a good idea to look back on some of the previous gigs we been to, by Leicester most famous rock band.

Kasabian talk about their biggest gigs ever

Kasabian talk about playing their biggest gigs to date, at The O2 and the new stage show they are going to surprise their fans with.

Watch it on YouTube

2nd December 2011

Kasabian play Nottingham

Kasabian’s gig at the Capital FM Arena tonight rocked the house by all accounts. Artsin could not go but many of our friends did. Here are some of their comments:

“Best gig ever” – Kirsty, “fantastic gig last night” – Donna, ” Awesome gig as always!! Second time I have seen them in an arena – so suited to it – just keep getting better n better!” – Phil

” Kasabian were quality last night as was Miles Kane. They know how to get the crowd going. The Leicester boys done us proud yet again. ” – Ryan.

Watch this YouTube Video of Kasabian’s arena tour in 2011

26th October

Kasabian at the Leicester O2

Kasabian’s show at the O2 Academy in Leicester sold out within hours. The show was broadcast live on BBC Radio 1 with Zane Lowe hosting the broadcast live from the stage from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

As soon as the show was announced (11th October) queues of fans formed at the box office; over 700 fans queued overnight to register for tickets. Fans were given thousands of cups of tea and coffee and free chips by O2 as they waited in line for their tickets.

As the main room at O2 Academy began to fill with excited fans, Zane Lowe arrived on stage and began the hour-long process of warming up the crowd in readiness for the band.

Zane Lowe got the crowd cheering and waving their arms in the air in readiness for the start of the Radio 1 live broadcast at 7 p.m. He got the growing crowd to sing Wonder wall, Arctic Monkeys numbers and other songs and played a track by Queens of the Stone Age.

Tom Meighan's DJ set with Zane Lowe at the O2 Leicester
Tom Meighan’s DJ set with Zane Lowe at the O2 Leicester

At 7.30 p.m. Kasabian’s lead singer Tom Meighan joined Zane at the DJ desk, walking on to the stage to loud cheering from the now almost capacity crowd.

I spotted various members of Leicester’s rockerati in the crowd, members of local bands and famous singers who were there to enjoy the fun, not to mention one or two of our most prestigious photographers and another magazine editor. Tom chose Invaders Must Die by the Prodigy and went back to the dressing room to get ready for the show.

The floor was now a sea of heads, over a thousand teenagers were crammed together, excited at the prospect of seeing the band they had been waiting for.

The excitement mounted as eight o’clock approached and roadies began to bring guitars on to the stage and tune them up. Zane plays an interview with Sergio and Tom recorded earlier in the day; Serge talks about how he grew up in Leicester and the band’s early days in Countesthorpe and the city.

Just before eight, Zane’s DJ desk is lowered from the stage in to the pit area and then the lights go out. Am immense cheer erupts from the capacity audience of 1,200 fans and the members of Kasabian take their places on the stage.

Tom Meighan at Leicester O2
Tom Meighan at Leicester O2

They open with their song Clubfoot and the fans join in with the chorus. It’s a song we all know well. Tom Meighan is illuminated on stage with a Super Trooper follow spotlight. Tom puts on a pair of shades. He is dressed in a navy blue shirt and terracotta coloured trousers; his hair is cut short and gelled, rather like a sixties rocker, I thought.

Fans at Kasabian's O2 Academy show in 2011
Fans at Kasabian’s O2 Academy show in 2011

The thickly packed fans are bouncing to the songs, waving their arms and joining in with the songs that they all know so well. There are six musicians on stage, including one on the decks and keyboards. In the third song they are joined by a trumpet player.

Tom Meighan on stage at the O2 Leicester
Tom Meighan on stage at the O2 Leicester

Tom keeps the crowd going between songs, encouraging them to wave and cheer. The band performs Velociraptor, the title track from their latest album and Re-wired (you can see a video of this on the Kasabian web site.)

The crowd is swaying around with groups pushing forward; Tom warns them to be careful and to help each other if someone falls over.

Kasabian's Sergio on stage at the O2 Academy
Kasabian’s Sergio on stage at the O2 Academy

Altogether a very exciting night in the presence of a world-class band, playing in their home town to a sell out audience. Live music doesn’t get much better than this.

t’s good when a band of this caliber plays a home gig; that’s something a bit special. Kasabian’s music has had a massive influence on our 200+ local rock bands and has long been a seminal influence on the thousands of local kids who have learnt to play guitars and sing and who want to follow in their footsteps.

Kasabian on stage at the O2 Academy Leicester
Kasabian on stage at the O2 Academy Leicester

5th September 2011

Kasabian hold secret gig in Leicester

Kasabian have held secret gigs before, even in their home town of Leicester. When they held one on Monday 5th September it was the surprise of the decade.

News of the secret event reached me on Friday morning when someone tipped me off about it, hoping I would know where it was to be held.

The band posted details of the event on their website, inviting fans to apply for tickets. Lucky applicants would be told by phone that they had won a pair of tickets for the free show.

I started asking local live music venues if they were to host the event but drew a blank everywhere. Venue owners, fans, music colleagues and I, whittled it down to three possible city venues.

We were all wrong. I got an email on Saturday saying I had been given a place to attend the gig. Nothing about the venue. Just an enigmatic sentence asking me to report to the Walker’s stadium at 7 p.m. on Monday (5th September) and “all will be revealed.” The Walkers Stadium, by the way, has now been renamed The King Power Stadium.

kasabian_vipcoach

Arriving at the LCFC, I found a fleet of coaches and a long queue of fans waiting to get on them. I still had no idea where we were going. I was ushered on to the VIP corporate hospitality cruiser. A Vevo rep showed me a picture of Serg and Tom seated at the controls of an aircraft; that was clue but I still didn’t twig. I thought they had just flown in on a private jet. All she would say is that we were going to “a destination in Leicestershire.” Right, so it wasn’t going to be in the city after all

The convey of buses set off shortly after 7 p.m. It was getting dark and it was raining. I noticed we were in Oadby, heading towards Arnesby and the idea of Bruntingthorpe came into my head.

Sure enough, we turned into some winding lanes and soon a big sign saying Bruntingthorpe went passed the window. I knew it was a large site and probably had an aircraft hangar or two where a gig could be mounted.

The coach turned into the airfield’s main car park and a huge illuminated Jumbo Jet came into view. I jumped up out of my seat and shouted, “Wow! Awesome!”. At last, I the knew where the secret gig would be held. I could never have imagined this in my wildest dreams.

Kasabian's jumbo jet at Bruntingthorpe
Kasabian’s jumbo jet at Bruntingthorpe

The fans piled off the coaches into the dark, wet night and filed into a large marquee, close to the aircraft. Two hundred people lined up for free beer and a hog roast. This was corporate hospitality with style!

The company that organised the event was VEVO, the international music video corporation. I noticed they had the Boeing’s tail fin painted with “Vevo presents Kasabian”. So, here we were, about to hear one of the world’s biggest bands, a band that had started life in Leicester, playing a gig on a jumbo jet.

A couple of beers and hog burgers later and we were climbing the steps into the massive aircraft. Inside, the fuselage had been stripped out to provide a space the size of a large cargo freighter. A stage was down at the tail end and there was a full sound system, with enough illuminated screens to make it look a bit like the control room of an AWACS. An array of LCD production lights were dotted about the stage area.

The crowd squeezed down to the front. I was about five ‘rows’ back. The space was, as you can imagine, very narrow and long. Kasabian came on stage at about 9 p.m. The stage was pretty low down so all I could see was the occasional glimpse of the faces of Serg and Tom through the forest of heads and arms holding cameras aloft, in front of me.

Tom Meighan on the jumbo jet in 2011
Tom Meighan on the jumbo jet in 2011

The band started to play. It was pretty warm in the densely packed thicket of fans. This was the first time I had ever seen Kasabian play live, even though I knew some of their songs pretty well.

They were soon into some really pounding numbers and the crowd began to bounce up and down in unison. The floor was pretty springy and the whole aircraft was vibrating with the music and the frequency of the fan’s jumping. I was a bit anxious about all this motion at first until I remembered that the airframe of a Boeing 747 has to cope with huge amounts of turbulence.

Kasabian played a number of their biggest hits including a track from their new album ‘Velociraptor’, which is also the title of their forthcoming UK tour.

Tom Meighan with Kasabian at the secret gig at bruntingthorpe, 2011
Tom Meighan with Kasabian at the secret gig at bruntingthorpe, 2011

Tom said “Kasabian on a jumbo jet. How cool is this” and later “You guys will remember this night for years to come.”

One of the most memorable songs they played was Fire, with its famous chorus, was their final song and a great one to end this amazing night. They didn’t however play Clubfoot, which was a bit of a disappointment for me.

Read about this show on the BBC website.

20th September 2011

Kasabian – Velociraptor

James Kendrick reviews Velociraptor by Kasabian

Kasabian’s fourth album Velociraptor! was released yesterday. By no means is it a dinosaur of an album, but neither does it suggest the Leicester band’s success is heading towards extinction.

First questions first: the name? According to lead vocalist Tom Meighan the album is so titled because “it’s a cool word… Latin… prehistoric”. Meighan has clearly done his background for Velociraptor means ‘fast hunter’ in the language of the Romans. And it surely won’t be long before Kasabian’s burgeoning fan base prey on this latest effort, helping to propel it to the top of the album charts.

Contrary to what you would expect from an album named after a reptile, Velociraptor! doesn’t take long to warm up. Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To is a misleading title for the intriguing opener as it totally contradicts the classic Kasabian song formula. At times it echoes of Last Shadow Puppets’ orchestral pop. With a trumpeted intro and chords a-plenty it’s far removed from their typical electronica currency. Following in this vein are La Fee Verte and Goodbye Kiss, where it’s surprising to hear Meighan, a caged tiger of a live performer, singing about love. “I hope someday that we meet again” he purrs over clatters of tambourine during the 60’s-belonging ballad.

The sharply named pre-release Switchblade Smiles reverts more to type, relying on a heavy assortment of bass which parallels Club Foot. In fact it’s so similar to their breakthrough single it could well be the same song played backwards. Still it’s catchy enough for FIFA 12 and it also features on Match of the Day 2, something which will please guitarist Serge Pizzorno – a decent footballer in his prime.

New single Days are Forgotten has a groovy intro but lacks the creativity of a typical Kasabian number and is consequently staler than a week-old loaf of bread. BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams recently compared the #28 single to the OK Computer days of Radiohead, something which the Blaby/Countesthorpe boys accepted as a “huge compliment”.

Leicester’s finest are more frequently likened to Oasis and Happy Mondays for their electro-infused brand of lad rock. Neither of those famous acts had the audacity though to adventure an album title which Pizzorno amusingly labels as the “glam rock of dinosaurs. ” Earlier this month, the band treated an exclusive audience of 250 people to a secret gig aboard a Boeing 747 at Bruntingthorpe aerodrome.

Title track Velociraptor! adds pace and bite to proceedings with a clever riff and an explosive, comical chorus of “Velociraptor, he’s gonna find yer, he’s gonna kill yer, he’s gonna eat yer!” Club-destined Re-wired excellently re-acquaints with the space rock genre. The real gem however is the Serge-sung Acid Turkish Bath with its Arabian influences. It wouldn’t be out-of-place in a Middle Eastern film.

After playing with Fire in West Ryder … Kasabian show here that they have plenty of other tricks up their sleeve and aren’t afraid to experiment. Songwriter Pizzorno describes Velociraptor! as a “jukebox record”. I certainly wouldn’t advise skipping through any of this selection.

Velociraptor! by Kasabian Released: 19/09/2011 Label: Columbia Rating: 7 out of 10

The Velociraptor Album on Kasabian’s website.

Visit the Kasabian website

Read about Kasabian on Wikipedia

See more Leicester bands:

Beneath The Lights

The Bench That Rocked

Neon Sarcastic

The World Can Wait

Midnight Wire

Ash Mammal

Formal Warning

About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke