KASABIAN, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 19 June 2014


Gathering lightweight sparring partners before a title fight, Kasabian are visiting a few smaller venues before their Glastonbury headline slot at the end of the month. This one was an easy win. In a charity set for War Child they simply flattened the theatre with a barrage of their most powerful songs.

With the release of an excellent fifth album, 48:13, this month, the critical tide seems finally to be turning in their favour, praise flowing for songwriter Serge Pizzorno’s ear for odd instrumentation and a psychedelic flourish. In concert, however, any subtlety was abandoned.

Rightly so — if they are going to win over one of the world’s largest concert audiences soon (truly vast if you include the BBC viewers) they must play an attacking game. So it was from the off, with new one Bumblebeee — that extra E presumably standing for Excess — thundering upwards on breezeblock beats.

In the absence of Velociraptor!, Eez-eh took the crown as their dumbest song, its rubbery rhythms helping along some laughable lyrics. But the Godzilla riffs of Underdog and Fire electrified the room.

I don’t remember when I last saw this place moving so violently from top to bottom. They’ll be getting the structural engineers in to check for damage today. If Glastonbury had a roof, it would be blown off on the Sunday night.