In the middle of another summer of moving the masses at gigantic festival appearances, Leicester’s Kasabian dropped in on Brixton Academy for a little taste of the old days. Guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno spoke of watching DJ Shadow here as a young man and dreaming of standing on the famed stage. Of the many times he has stood on it since, he claimed this was the best crowd.
Of course he would say that, but it was hard to imagine another audience that was more fired up, hungry to sing, throw beer and keep hands as far from pockets as possible. Kasabian made it easy with a career-spanning barrage of hits and no slow ones, unless you counted the mid-paced groove of You’re in Love With a Psycho.
At a time when not even Ant and Dec can stay together, Pizzorno and singer Tom Meighan have outlived early comparisons to the Gallagher brothers and look increasingly like the strongest couple in showbiz.
The everyman frontman embodied the joy of the shouty football fan whose team have just won the league. Pizzorno offered something weirder in his giant fluorescent anorak and psychedelic chef’s trousers.
The music matched the looks: all over the place, from the dance-rap hybrid Treat to the rock thunder of Empire, but never without a huge chorus to unite the room. The songs from last year’s sixth album, For Crying Out Loud, may have been made in a spirit of both harmony and disharmony – Pizzorno married his partner and Meighan split from his – but new songs such as Comeback Kid and Bless This Acid House fit comfortably next to long-term favourites.
With nine people on stage when the horn section arrived and lasers everywhere, this was a stadium experience condensed and intensified. No wonder their headliner status remains undisputed.