Inside the arena, the anticipation was almost palpable, as tens of thousands held out for alt/indie giants, Kasabian.
Alongside a stacked line-up consisting of Muse and Liam Gallagher, (and a plethora of hidden gems scattered around the smaller stages), Kasabian made their presence known with an impactful setlist spanning their 20 year-old discography.
Belting out established bangers like ‘Underdog’, ‘Club Foot’ and ‘Re-Wired’, the group also peppered their performance with a cover of Nirvana’s ‘All Apologies’, as if the night wasn’t memorable enough.
Out of the small amount of interviews the band did over the weekend, Rachel was lucky enough to have a quick chat with a surprisingly relaxed Tom Meighan, literally moments before they took to the stage.
You played a mega set at Reading last night, played a few covers such as Nirvana’s ‘All Apologies’ and a dash of Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’. How was it?
Thank you, it was absolutely amazing considering I got out of hospital on Wednesday. It was one of those pivotal moments, a great vibe. Massive crowd.
Kasabian had to cancel their gig at Custom House Square, Belfast on Tuesday 22nd August when Tom came down with a case of ‘severe vomiting’. In a statement from the band, they told fans they were ‘absolutely gutted’ to have to cancel at such short notice but as ‘Tom was taken to hospital, put on a drip and told to rest up’ there was nothing else they could do. The date for a rescheduled gig will be released soon.
So we’re six albums in, five of which are number ones, how have you remained sustainable?
‘Cause we’re good, that’s pretty much it. Most of the bands I know that come out in the noughties (whatever that term even fucking means) went and disappeared apart from Monkeys and Muse and certain other bands. Rock ‘n’ roll is just too accessible now; when we came out people bought albums, we just beat the internet. We sustained it as well, because we’ve a core which is made up of a massive fan base.
You blend many different genres, where did all that influence come from?
E.T. Michael Jackson. Superman. Motown. Oasis. NWA. Cyprus Hill. Jungle… Rave.
With regards to the new (phenomenal) album ‘For Crying Out Loud’, I asked Tom “who made the decision to stick your roadie on the cover?”
Well, its kind of that the guy’s not going to be around for long bless him, and he’s getting on, so we thought we’d make him a martyr. Serge’s idea – it’s great though, ’cause this guy’s been doing guitar tech for years since the sixties and his first band was the Kinks. Massive history that bloke.
The new album cover for their sixth album, For Crying Out Loud was designed by the artist, fashion designer and creative director, Aitor Troup, who collaborated with Neil Bedford – long term collaborator and photographer and emerging visual artist Daft Apeth to create his third album cover for Kasabian. Neil Bedford photographed veteran roadie, Nick Graham, in a series of black and white portraits as various Kasabian characters. Aitor Troup felt that Nick Graham ‘really represents the band’. He has been with them since the very beginning, and is one of the Kasabian family, so a rather inspired concept from Serge.
The new album lyrically is not we’re used to with Kasabian, you seem to have spilled your guts here. What’s your favourite track on it?
It’d be hard to tell. I love this album because its very human and very real, talking about John was a Scientist and things like that- it ain’t like bloody 48:13 either with puzzle lyrics where you had to fit together to understand whatever Serge was on about. This album to me is personal, this is my favourite without a doubt, it’s a comeback, it’s [about] hope.
We live in an online-obsessed world where no one ever seems to switch off. How does Tom switch off, if you do at all?
Netflix & chill. I love going out for food these days, I never used to be bothered about anything like that. I was more bothered about going out and getting big. I’m quite fond of Italian, although someone took me to a Lebanese, but that wasn’t my fault. Someone pressured me into that…
You gave a shout out to the late Bruce Forsyth at Reading?
Yeah, see the thing is with Brucey is he’s one of those people that you think is always going to be around, you can’t ever imagine him going away – he’s just always been there and you think he always will be. It’s really sad. He was in Bedknobs & Broomsticks!
You also had soon to be ‘Bake Off’ host Noel Fielding on stage at Reading: Dead or alive, who would you have on stage?
Thats a tough one…have to be James Brown. Legend.
You’ve done a zillion interviews: What can tell me that you’ve never told anyone in a interview?
I only buy Calvin Klein pants – white ones and my mum washes ’em. I’m not like P Diddy – I don’t wear ’em and bin ’em but yeah Calvin Kleins. White.
What’s happening now for Kasabian? Obviously, we’ve had the new album but what’s next?
America. They love Acid House out there, so we’re going over there for a bit. Then we’ve got three or four weeks off and we’re doing some Europe dates and the arena tour. Then it’s Christmas with Father Christmas and all that bollocks – wrapping presents and hugging everyone.
What do you think to new music nowadays, who do you listen to?
Some great bands. Mega bands but no support [for them]. No bands are getting played on the commercial radio. It’s rigged – it’s the same bollocks going on – the same fucking Lego-head, same A-list. I think what Mikey Jonns is doing is great, its amazing and Radio X are also amazing and championing the new talent. Sadly I don’t get chance to listen to anyone, I’m too busy now I’ve got a kid and a family, and I’m not 18 anymore going out looking for bands. I’ve got shit to do with my kid. I’m a performer – that’s my job.
Promoter of the best new music spanning up and down the UK, Mikey Jonns of This Feeling has already been highly praised by Serge describing his club nights “Like a mad 60’s carnival” Upcoming events at www.thisfeeling.co.uk
Can we expect the same as Reading tonight?
Expect the best night of your life…
Kasabian have released dates for a 12-date UK tour, including two dates at The 02 Arena, London on 1 and 2 December. Tickets go on sale at 9.30am on 31 August here in the UK.
Their set at Leeds Festival was a triumph, and tracks from their new album, For Crying Out Loud such as ‘You’re In Love With A Psycho’ and ‘Bless This Acid House’ gave audiences a taste of what they could expect, not only by listening to the astounding album, but through attending the end-of-year tour which was already announced in part by Christmas 2016. Full dates are below.
Throughout this year, Kasabian have been releasing tracks with a variety of different influences, such as the aforementioned ‘You’re in Love With a Psycho’, which leans towards modern pop anthems, and ‘Bless This Acid House’, which has been gently infused with glam-rock. Serge has claimed that they have worked tirelessly to create a feel good album aiming to save ‘guitar music from the abyss’.
The full UK tour dates are as follows:
24.11.17 Metro Arena – Newcastle
25.11.17 The SSE Hydro – Glasgow
26.11.17 BHGE Arena – Aberdeen
30.11.17 Manchester Arena – Manchester
01.12.17 The 02 – London
02.12.17 The 02 – London
04.12.17 Motorpoint Arena – Cardiff
05.12.17 Echo Arena – Liverpool
07.12.17 First District Arena – Leeds
08.12.17 Barclaycard Arena – Birmingham
09.12.17 Barclaycard Arena – Birmingham
Links for tickets can be found below:
PHOTOGRAPHY AND INTERVIEW: RACHEL BROWN
EDITED BY CONNOR FALKNER/KATE O’BRIEN
(Copyright to Northern Exposure. All rights reserved . Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited without permission from Rachel Brown. No part of this interview may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including recording)