Gig Review: Kasabian, Brixton Academy 6/12/14

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Sometimes you remember a gig for the story that goes with it, not just the music. A last minute decision to drive to Brixton, fuelled mainly by a fear of being wedged into a sweaty post-gig-goers’s armpit on the tube, seemed top of the stupid decisions league once we’d been stuck on the Edgeware Road for over an hour. Then when the car park we’d been aiming for turned out to be closed, nerves were frayed by an interminable crawl under the arches and through market debris in a search for a reasonably safe looking place to leave the wheels. Finding that the seats weren’t where I thought they were and that my Saturday dinner would have to be an array of confectionery from the “cafe”, meant that my sense of wellbeing was somewhat tested. Not only that, but Mr Tall and his mate Mr Giant were right in my eye line. (It turned out that footballer Peter Crouch was downstairs in the thick of it, so I guess I should think myself lucky that I wasn’t stuck behind him!) Finally there was an odd sensation of slippage in the space/time continuum when I realised that at 9:30 the support band were only just starting. I begrudgingly garnered some comfort from the sight of The Maccabees rocking up with four guitars on stage (four!) and gradually began to defrost. At 10:30 the half hour countdown began.
This was a gig I’d been desperate to see since the headline slot at Glastonbury, so it really didn’t take that long for my mood to improve. The boys have amassed such a back catalogue of epic tunes over the years that there was no let up in the standard during the two hours of sound. They are fantastic live, and Pizzorno is brilliant at writing songs made to sound fantastic live. Being on the balcony meant that I got a full overview of the impressive light show. It’s like seeing your normal fireworks show, and then seeing a Chinese fireworks show. You know the sort that were around a few years back, somehow ten times more spectacular than normal, but banned on health and safety grounds? This was a lights show of eye hurting Chinese standards. There was plenty of Meighan swagger on view, looking like he wouldn’t be happy until he’d incited a riot, and although I haven’t in the past thought of him as a particularly outstanding vocalist, I have to admit that he impressed with his work this night. I love a good boogie to Treat and only wish that Clouds had been on the set list. The highlight for me was hearing Empire and Fire back to back – the place was absolutely rocking by that time.
By the end, Tom was left on stage singing All You Need Is Love, and he was getting plenty of it back. The others had left, and I was half expecting a shepherd’s crook to appear and yank him off. It was almost One O’Clock in the morning by then, but he didn’t seem to want to bid Brixton farewell, the big softy.
So in the end fate treated us kindly, because if we hadn’t driven, we’d have been stuffed on public transport at that hour. And with tour tickets for big names being so hard to come by these days, you really can’t grumble at being lucky enough to be part of an “event” rather than your average gig.

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