kasabian resize@ Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, November 10 2009

Leicester’s finest came  took Newcastle by storm with an outstanding live show on the opening night of their tour promoting new album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

Playing on stage with none other than Noel Gallagher on guitar, it is clear to see that Tom Meighan and his army are enjoying life as one of the best bands in Britain today.

And they didn’t just reel the recently ‘divorced’ Gallagher out in the middle of the set and shout ‘look at who we have’. No, Kasabian just walked on stage with their special guest and let him play along. And Gallagher didn’t break into a solo rendition of Wonderwall because he didn’t have to – he was just there, helping out his mates and doing what he likes most.

Support came early in the evening from Reverend And The Makers who played a decent half hour set, opening the show with their biggest hit to date, Heavyweight Champion Of The World. The lyrics are a brilliant homage the 1954 Marlon Brandon film On The Waterfront, quoting character Terry Malloy’s depressed speech about ‘being someone’ if not getting ‘caught up in the rat race’ almost word for word.

Followed by a two hour long set from the recently dubbed ‘Lunar Boys’, fans were treated to an array of songs from all three Kasabian albums – mostly from ‘WRPLA’ but also from the earlier releases, the songs which got them noticed  like Cutt Off and the grand finale, L.S.F (Lost Souls Forever).

After an hour on stage the guys started to wind down, playing quieter pieces like Ladies And Gentlemen (Roll The Dice) before picking it up again for the last 45 minutes and getting the crowd even more excited. I’ve been to a lot of gigs and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people pulled out of a standing crowd. One woman even punched a bouncer as she was dragged out…

During the ‘quieter’ moments Tom, who had been offstage to give guitarist and singer Sergio Lorenzo Pizzorno (or Serge for short) a solo session, walked onto a dark platform with a lit-lighter, sat down and held it in front of his microphone whilst singing The Doberman, which prompted people in the crowd to do the same.

Anyone that knows this song will tell you that it changes entirely after a long build up of bass and guitar and loud drum beat before an abrupt stop, pause, and then continuation with lyrics and trumpets, an idea taken from their beloved Leicester City football club. They use a trumpet player to announce the players coming out onto the pitch at home games and at the three dates in Leicester two years ago Kasabian used the same guy to come and play the trumpet solo for them in concert.

I may be biased. I am from Leicester and I have seen this band five times now. I have met Serge, his mum worked at my school. I have mates that live in the same villages as them and that went to school with them. I have played rugby at the ground where they played their first gig all those year ago. I do know this though: Kasabian are going to be popular for a very long time to come.

I’ve seen U2 in front of 60,000 and I prefer every Kasabian gig to that. They sell out tours in hours and the presence they have on stage is unique, shown best when Tom comes back on for the encore with a smoke flare in hand: ‘Newcastle you are fucking empire…’, ‘…Newcastle get those fucking hands in the air!!’. People have said he’s just a jacked-up idiot who doesn’t know what he’s doing. But Meighan does. He is working crowds all over the world like nobody else can or does; you are there to be entertained and entertained you shall be. ‘Laaaa la la, la la la la laaa, laaaa la la, la la la la’.

Tom Williams